The Purge Anarchy is the sequel to The Purge (2013), and is set in a 2023 America where the newly founded American Government still have the annual Purge in effect. The Purge was generally seen as an interesting idea for a film however the first film turned into a standard house invasion thriller. It didn’t really explore all of the different aspects that could have been in the film. Now, this second film is exactly what everyone wanted from the first.
The film follows three different stories, one about a police man, Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), looking for revenge, a Mother and Daughters, Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali Sanchez (Zoe Soul) and a couple, Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez). In this thriller it demonstrates and really does have moments which leave you thinking ‘holy shit,’ and there are numerous jumpy scenes. The worst part about it is that some are very obvious but are still jumpy; you can’t help but be shocked by some of the scenes.
Frank Grillo is the best character by far even though he plays a very cliché character in this film and is the main piece to the film that enables the story to link together. The team behind The Purge obviously learnt a lot from the original, as there is a vast improvement. This installment adds depth to the idea of the Purge and the way America could be if something like this was in place. There is an introduction to a rebellious anti-purge society that is publicly voicing its anger and informing everyone that they will be hunting the rich to try disrupt the purging that many of the rich would be taking part in.
What works well is the way that the characters all have different qualities and contribute different things at different times. It’s quite rare that the sub plots are also relevant and interesting but it shows a harsh truth of what life could be like if The Purge was a real thing (fortunately it’s not). Of course like every film, there are negatives, it does at times go from thrilling to boring, but it’s good enough to keep the viewer gripped.
The people that are purging seemed to be the biggest improvement along with the story, some of the characters were really creepy, a lot of that was down to masks and the element of the ‘unknown’. Again there is a realistic feel to the fact that there is not just one threat, there are an unlimited number, it is all about survival. Overall the Purge is an exciting and thrilling film with a good concept, there is still room for improvement in many departments like depth and intelligence but this second part is heading in the right direction.