Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy

Releases July 18th, 2014
1 hr 43 mins
Rated R
Suspense/Thriller, Horror


Director: James DeMonaco

Frank Grillo as Leo Barnes 
Carmen Ejogo as Eva
Zach Gilford as Shane 
Kiele Sanchez as Liz 
Zoe Soul as Cali 
Michael K. Williams as Carmelo 
Justina Machado as Tanya 
John Beasley as Papa Rico 
Jack Conley as Big Daddy 
Noel Gugliemi as Diego 
Castulo Guerra as Barney 
Edwin Hodge as The Stranger 
Keith Stanfield as Young Ghoul Face 
Roberta Valderrama as Lorraine 
Brandon Keener as Warren Grass 
Chad Morgan as Janice

Review by Stephen M.  

Less goofy and more action packed than the first Purge film, The Purge: Anarchy addresses all the criticisms of the first and hits a triple.  With unemployment under 5%, the citizens of this fine country, once a year lets out their beast with no retribution.  It's on this very night that the path of five individuals crosses, trapped out in the open during the Purge.

The main characters in the film include Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) who is a couple stranded after their car is sabotaged by a group wearing masks.  Leo (Frank Grillo) who willingly goes out at night during the Purge appears to have a vendetta.  And finally, Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter Cali (Zoe Soul) who is dragged out of their building by government agents for unknown reasons.  As Eva and Cali are being dragged out, Leo happens to pass by and reluctantly helps the pair.  As he does, Shane and Liz happens upon Leo's car while being pursued by the gang that sabotaged their car.  It becomes a free for all from there.

As with the prior movies, there are underlying messages of social inequality between the rich and the poor.  From the rich hunting down the vagrants to hosting hunting parties.  Michael K. Williams plays Carmelo, an underground leader, who is opposed to the idea of The Purge seeking to disrupt it through violence.  While having "Omar Little" play such an anti-government role is great, I would have loved Wesley Snipes as Carmelo.  Given some of the character's lines and Wesley's clashes with the U.S. government over taxes he would have been great.

Frank Grillo, whom you may have last seen in Captain America Winter Soldier, turns the Purge: Anarchy into an action film and that's fine by me.  To call this a horror film would be a stretch.  Sure there are some blood splattering moments, and the creepy eerie feeling that someone is about to be killed.  But I would say the film is more of a thriller and action film than a horror film.  Frank who should be getting more face time behind a mask in the next Captain America film shows that he's ready as a leading man in an action film.  Carmen Ejogo and Zoe Soul are good in their roles as well as Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez despite some of the cheesy lines they are told to say.  The weakest of the group for me was Zach Gilford.  You keep hoping his character would die already.

Overall, I would recommend the film.  Die hard horror fans may want to pass on this.  If you enjoyed the first film, I think you would definitely enjoy this film.  What keeps the film from being great are some of the obvious errors in the film such as when Zach's character's leg gets snared in a trap but seems to have no problem walking.  Or towards the end when the surviving characters ask for a car to go to the hospital, even though they just exited from a working car!  Little things like that just makes you shake your head.


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