Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Review] The Purge: Anarchy

Here's the sequel to last year's intriguing but ultimately awful The Purge--the one night out of the year when crime is legal, and one of many days when it's okay to release a horrible movie. The Purge: Anarchy hits the screen like an "Okay, let's try this again" effort, but the good news is that it's better than the last time. The bad news is that it's still not very good.

This go-around, instead of focusing on one family barricading themselves inside their home, the story has perspective from three different groups, and these poor souls are left outside amidst the mayhem and legal slaughter. When the sun goes down and the streetlights turn on, all hell breaks loose, and our protagonists are scared out of their minds, except for the guy that actually chooses to go out on the prowl. Eventually the parties cross paths, and they do their best to survive together and attempt to avoid more masked Odd Future-aged kids, and a Bazooka Bus full of meatheads.

It's as violent as you'd expect, and it moves at lightning pace. But it isn't quite bold or unique enough to be embraced as a cult spectacular. It isn't quite tense or dreadful enough to get your heart racing, make you sit at the edge of your seat, and give a crap about these characters' well-being. And it isn't sly enough to espouse its vague undercurrents of social commentary. The thing is, the film doesn't amount to much more than an extended piece of shootout tropes that we see in every other mediocre action flick--it's just that there's a gimmick premise behind it. The Purge: Anarchy isn't a total waste, though. There are some fun sequences, twists, and an awesome turn by Michael K. Williams.

Still, a tradition like this shouldn't be so forgettable. Maybe next time they'll get it right. Or not.


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