Friday, June 3, 2016

Film Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

The Purge: Anarchy (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Although I had a few complaints, I really enjoyed the film."

Three parties are forced to fight for survival during the Purge, a night where the government legalizes all crime for 12 hours.

The Purge: Anarchy follows waitress Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter Cali (Zoe Soul), married couple Shane and Liz, and an unnamed police Sergeant (Frank Grillo). All of these groups are preparing for the Purge in their own ways, but they each run into trouble, which leaves them outside on the most dangerous night of the year. So, of course, they conveniently cross paths and join forces. Sergeant tries to rescue the group while completing his own mission, which remains ambiguous until the end. There are a few turns here, but most of it is predictable. The plot isn't bad, though. The ending was decent, too.

The Purge: Anarchy is an entertaining film. Although I skipped the first film, I am fascinated by this concept. I must say, it was executed well for this movie. It packs quite a few thrills and some violent chills. It often transitions seamlessly from its action sequences, always keeping the audience on its toes. It also serves up some interesting social commentary, which can be a little too heavy-handed and blatant at times, but it works in conjuring a few provocative thoughts. At the same time, most of the film is contrived and predictable. It's just far too convenient at times. Then, you have the shameless exposition at the end. I mean, who will really stand there and explain everything to someone they're trying to kill?

The acting was good, though. Frank Grillo and Carmen Ejogo perform well. Her character was often annoying, but Zoe Soul was also decent. Soul couldn't really nail the more emotional scenes, though. She never really felt 'in tune' with her emotions, so it often came off as fabricated. The film is shot well and the music was good. The film is written and directed by James DeMonaco. DeMonaco knows how to craft a well-balanced thriller. He could use some fine-tuning in his writing, though. There are too many noticeable plot contrivances here and the exposition at the end was ridiculous.

Overall, The Purge: Anarchy was entertaining. Although I had a few complaints, I really enjoyed the film. I can see this series has a lot of potential. Hopefully, the third film nails it. Regardless, let's just hope this series isn't milked like most horror franchises.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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