August 27, 2014
Last year, a movie written and directed by James DeMonaco entitled "The Purge" was released in cinemas. According to that controversial film, in just ten years from now, the USA had new "Founding Fathers" who believed that in order to keep crime rates down, there should be one 12-hour period a year when all crime will be condoned.
Therefore each year, March 21, from 7 pm to 7 am the next day is called "Purge Night". On that day, masked vigilantes are free to roam the streets killing whoever they deemed "undesirables" of society. This year, its sequel entitled "The Purge: Anarchy" was made.
The first film had name stars in it, namely Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. The whole film was basically confined to the fortress-like mansion of their characters. This second film though had no name stars at all. However, this sequel brings the action of "Purge Night" into the streets of Los Angeles. This expanded setting gives "The Purge: Anarchy" more leeway to be more violent, more exciting and more nerve-wracking.
Instead of just focusing on one family as in the first film, this sequel had more characters for us to follow around during the Purge. Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) are a couple whose car broke down downtown. Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (Zoe Soul) are a mother and daughter whose apartment gets broken in just for kicks. The Sergeant (Frank Grillo) is a man with an old debt to settle. Fate had it that these five people would get together to try and survive the madness of Purge Night, when crazy masked and armed goons sowed violence in wild abandon.
There were also scenes that emphasized the social stratification during the Purge. Poor people voluntarily sold themselves to some rich family in order to fulfill their Purge obligations. The society folks gather some poor folk together to play a Purge hunting game. The ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor was vividly painted with scarlet to highlight the insanity of the Purge law.
In this second installment, we see what was happening on the streets during the Purge. This horror was merely suggested in the first film since that film happened inside only one house, making it tense with claustrophobia. This time the tension was caused by agoraphobia as the danger literally came from anywhere as senseless anarchy ruled the streets. We see the bigger societal picture here. Come to think of it, the franchise would have made more sense if this had been the first Purge film. 6/10.