Friday, July 18, 2014

The Purge Anarchy Review: Not a Clean Purge, but a Solid Sequel.

Last year, horror fans were introduced to a different kind of America in The Purge. This home invasion film center on the idea that all crime is legal for 12 hours and how things turn upside down for one family. While the movie received decent reviews, several critiques suggested that there not enough was seen from the world of The Purge. However that issue did not take long to resolve as Universal Studios quickly green lit a sequel and we got  The Purge: Anarchy. While none of the characters from the first film were returning in this continuation, everything about this film suggested that The Purge would go from a home invasion movie to a survival horror. The premise alone should have pleased naysayer, but did The Purge work on the open streets or should it have stayed home?

The story of Anarchy is fairly simple as it deals with a group of people
trying to survive Purge night. That's about it and, to the story's credit, that worked The story did a good enough job setting up the characters and the crazy evening ahead. When the Purge begins, the plot becomes one massive thrilled ride after another. It may for one exciting plot that kept me engage. If there was one issue I had with the story it was film's plot points. This is not to say elements such as Sergeant looking for his son's killer or the up rise of Carmello was bad. However these points did not go anywhere and their conclusion were very anticlimactic. Still, the plot worked for the spirit of the film.

It is hard to have solid characters in a horror film. Luckily, The Purge: Anarchy does not suffer from this issue; well for the most part. Frank Grillo plays the disgruntle Sergeant who is out for revenge on Purge night. Sergeant is certainly the character to watch in this movie as he has the most development in the main cast, and is just a badass protagonist. The only issue with the character is that you do not get to know much about him. This was likely due to the fact the filmmakers wanted to make Sergeant's motive a secret, but the pay off was not the best. Still, Frank Grillo really gives it his all in this performance. When it came to rest of the main group, they were not bad; but they were as mediocre as they come. Then there was the young Cali, Eva's daughter. Cali was not a bad character, but she was annoying with her preachy behavior. This young lady was way too smart, and not in a good way. I guess her purpose was to be a conscience for Sergeant, but it could have been handle a lot better.

Seeing that is a horror film, you would think that there are some scares to Purge: Anarchy. While this is not your typical horror film, there were a few scares to this movie. Thankfully Anarchy's horror resides in an atmosphere oppose to just relying on jump scares. The setting of a city full of maniacs was done well and created the right tension for the movie. Another element that added to the horror was the cinematography of Jacques Jouffret. While the camera work was not awe inspiring, the film took plenty of liberties to use the cinematography in order to create a satisfying tone for the chaotic world that was The Purge.

The Purge: Anarchy may not become the scariest movie of the year, but that is not to say it is a bad film. While the movie does suffer from some flaws, it does work as solid continuation to its 2013 predecessor by expanding the idea of The Purge. If anything, Anarchy is a thrilling time at the movies and makes for a solid sequel for horror fans to enjoy.

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