Film Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Also known as: The Purge 2
Release Date: July 17th, 2014 (Israel)
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Written by: James DeMonaco
Music by: Nathan Whitehead
Cast: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, Michael K. Williams

Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions, Why Not Productions, Universal Pictures, 103 Minutes


“Get ready to bleed, rich bitches! This is our time now!” – Carmelo Johns

*written in 2014.

While I didn’t like the first movie overall, I did find this one to be better. The main reason for this is that we weren’t trapped in a house with an annoying family with bad guys outside, who didn’t get in to bring the ruckus until the last fifteen minutes of the movie. This film took us outside and into downtown Los Angeles during the annual “Purge” night. We also followed a character played by Frank Grillo, a guy I’ve always liked, who was almost a Punisher type of character. He had an armored muscle car and an awesome arsenal of big guns. He was also former military or a cop but I couldn’t tell which and it really doesn’t matter.

Grillo, as I’ll call him because I don’t remember his name in the film and I don’t care, comes across a few women in trouble during the Purge and takes it upon himself to rescue them. They end up with him throughout the film, as does this annoying married couple that no one who sees this film will care about. Grillo traverses through downtown L.A. while babysitting these people on a personal mission to find the drunk driver that killed his son.

The downside of this movie is that while there was more action than the first, it still felt like there wasn’t enough, as this movie existed in the outside world and not in a closed-in confined space. I expected a lot more balls to the wall chaos.

This film featured two sets of villains: the young punks on dirt bikes with painted faces, as well as multiple semi trucks full of armored troops and a commander with an insane machine gun. The group led by Grillo is trying to avoid both groups of villains and the true intentions of one of the villainous groups is a plot twist that falls flat and thus, reminded me of the uninspiring and lame plot twist in the previous Purge film.

This is a better film than the first one but it still isn’t a good film. It felt like less of a waste of time than the first but I walked away with pretty much no desire to ever experience this movie again. In fact, other than watching a future sequel for potential review purposes, I have no interest in this series.

To rehash what I stated in my review of the original film, the premise isn’t believable and it feels like a adolescent boy’s wet dream – stolen from the diary of a middle school kid. Hell, maybe Hollywood is paying kids to write their movies now because you can pay them in Blow Pops and nudie magazines.

Rating: 5/10
Pairs well with: Any Frank Grillo movie where he is a total badass. So any Frank Grillo movie, really.

Film Review: The Purge (2013)

Also known as: Vigilandia (working title)
Release Date: May 2nd, 2013 (Stanley Film Festival)
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Written by: James DeMonaco
Music by: Nathan Whitehead
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder

Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions, Why Not Productions, Universal Pictures, 85 Minutes


“Incoming reports show this year’s Purge has been the most successful to date, with the most murders committed.” – Newscaster

*written in 2014.

I watched this film and its first sequel back-to-back. I will follow up with my review of the sequel shortly.

As for this film, the first in The Purge series, it was pretty mediocre and the premise was so unbelievable that I had a hard time buying into it.

For those who don’t know the premise, basically ten years from now the United States government is run by some douchebags called the New Founding Fathers and they implement a thing called “The Purge”, which is an event where one night per year from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., all crimes including murder are legal. Why would the government do this? Well, it cuts down on crime the rest of the year, as people are allowed to get their built-up aggression out for one night. Also, it somehow solves all of our economic woes and makes America some utopia. The writers must have no clue about how economics works. Also, almost everyone buys into this insanity like it is a new religion.

Frankly, this film is trying to make a political statement but what that statement is, I am not sure. It is basically Hollywood liberal propaganda taken to such an extreme level that I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio stole this whole premise from an eleven year-old’s LiveJournal account. If this could happen in America, which it never would, more people would rise against it than support it. Reason being, even if this country is in bad shape and there is extreme polarization on almost every issue nowadays, most people are still inherently good and wouldn’t condone such savagery. Especially people with kids, which is nearly most adults.

I’d hate to keep harping on the bad premise but in no way does it work. Now if it was a scenario like Escape From New York or Arkham City or this premise was some response to a major natural disaster or a zombie outbreak, I could’ve bought into it a little better. Also, if it were more than just ten years in the future, I probably would’ve taken the bait. In the end, it is just an adolescent’s ill-plotted wet dream on screen.

And for a film that was basically guaranteed to be a murder-spree, this film wasn’t. Sure, a bunch of people do end up getting killed but it takes a hell of a lot of time to get to that point and when it happens, it is basically just the home invaders. The premise and the setup had you waiting for bloody chaos. What you got was a family hiding in closets with television sets.

The acting was okay, the villain kid was actually not bad and I liked his style and overall presentation, the cinematic style was effective and the kid actors weren’t horrible. The plot thread about the bum hiding in the house was annoying and more than half the film was spent searching the house for a hobo.

There was a plot twist at the end. It sucked and just added to the bullshit insanity of this whole shitshow. It’s as if the filmmakers thought that they were being clever. They weren’t.

I tried to forget about the premise and lose myself in the film and just accept what was playing out from scene-to-scene but nothing made sense. It was a film made to shock people… unintelligent people. Like the people who liked Paranormal Activity and all these other slew of modern horror films that would be better suited making coasters than actual playable DVDs.

I didn’t hate this movie; I just couldn’t take it seriously. It wasn’t cringeworthy; it was just an 85 minute waste of my time.

Rating: 4/10
Pairs well with: Other Purge movies.