Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Plot synopsis: A young couple (Zach Gilford, Roberta
Valderrama) works to survive on the streets after their car
breaks down right as the annual purge commences, as
they fight to survive with a mother and her daughter
(Carmen Ejogo, Justina Machado) and an unknown
gunman (Frank Grillo).
 Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes
 Rated: R (or strong disturbing violence, and for language)
 Director: James DeMonaco
 Starring: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
 Action | Horror | Thriller

Taking place just two hours before the onset of the next bloody purge - in which all of "America Reborn" acts out their deadly anger without fear of legal repercussion - The Purge: Anarchy takes off in 2023 with a new cast and new characters. What is not new is what the film seeks to accomplish, which is exactly what the first one did (only, this one does so a little less effectively).

Whereas the first movie was unique with some reflection offered on human violence verses value of life, the second movie is not much more than a sneer of the upper-class. It is not hard to see the intended political lampooning, with most of the acting falling a notch below par (the big exception being Frank "Warrior" Grillo who brings an almost Dolph Lundgren-esque screen presence with him).

The film isn't paced well enough to keep captive our attention, and if it were, we'd still be struggling with the high-strung emotion, most of which is in the form of pseudo-patriotic declarations, containing the same over-the-top one-sidedness we got from the last go-round. At least this time around, we get special interest groups trying to actively stop the Purge. But worse than any other flaw, this work features characters and a theme that are found to be overtly hypocritical in message.

The first film definitely did not need a sequel, but not minding the fact that a so-called purge of this sort would be un-enforceable due to obvious manpower logistics problems, we could almost suspend judgment and just enjoy the movie's exhibition of its basic premise...if it weren't for too many flaws, bringing it close to being called a waste of time.