Friday, July 18, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy Movie Review

Frank Grillo stars in The Purge: Anarchy

Stay Safe

Carnage meets absurdity in James DeMonaco's The Purge: Anarchy, a playful stroll through the streets of Los Angeles on the one night of the year when everything (rape, murder, even jaywalking) is on the table. It's an interesting premise, I must admit; but the crimes are so casual and plentiful, it's hard to take any of it seriously.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to summer 2013's sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box-office, sees the return of writer/director James DeMonaco to craft the next terrifying chapter of dutiful citizens preparing for their country's yearly 12 hours of anarchy. Returning alongside DeMonaco to produce The Purge: Anarchy are Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series), alongside S├ębastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13, Four Lovers) and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay (Pain & Gain, Transformers franchise), Brad Fuller (The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th).

What’s Best: Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is fun to watch as the film's reluctant hero. He's not your typical matinee star; but that seems to work in his favor. Leo Barnes (Grillo) is a man of few words, with a score to settle... What's not to like? His only drawback? Oddly enough, compassion. What I wouldn't give, to see him dump one of his "rescues" in the nearest alleyway, instead of wasting time trying to save them.

What’s Not: It's a broader playing field than last year's original with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey; which makes it a lot harder to maintain the same level of tension for 103 minutes (almost 20 more than The Purge.) It's also a lot more difficult to swallow why anyone would be out shopping or doing whatever, a mere hour or two before all heck breaks loose. Am I the only one rooting for the purgers?

Best Line: Anarchist Carmelo (a hard to recognize Michael K. Williams) scores early with, 'We worship at the altar of Smith & Wesson," but how do you overlook, 'I'm so happy you have this to share together,' when an old socialite/auctioneer applauds a father's decision to bring his two sons in on the kill?

Overall: It's a little disturbing to be part of an audience that cheers on the potential rape of a mother and daughter; but violence sells, even if it's killing for sport or (shudder) entertainment. Instead of blaming Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen for corrupting America, perhaps we should point our fingers at the James DeMonacos of the world... They seem to be doing a whole lot worse. Until then, color me mildly amused, moderately entertained and wholly disgusted at what passes for casual amusement.