Like many sequels, The Purge: Anarchy expands upon the concept of its predecessor, telling an ensemble-type narrative about a group of people trying to survive the New Founders of America's latest annual purge. A couple on their way home find themselves stranded when their car breaks down just as the Purge commences. A poverty-stricken mother and daughter who find themselves running for their lives when their house is broken into during the purge. A police sergeant who willingly goes out during the Purge, seeking revenge on the man who killed his son. Through chance, these five people's lives intersect, leading them to stick together in order to survive. James DeMonaco's The Purge: Anarchy is a larger scale version of its predecessor, carrying the same social-warfare parable of the corruptible powers of money. While the film surely beats the viewer over the head with its message, there is a confidence throughout The Purge: Anarchy that is quite refreshing. James DeMonaco's film is dark, dirty, and loud, feeling almost like a grindhouse film, as it wears its message on its sleeve while simultaneously taking every chance it can to up the ante. DeMonaco takes pride in capturing the impending chaos and violence The Purge brings, making it hard not to appreciate on some level. Personally I found this film's predecessor to be nothing more than a missed opportunity, but with The Purge: Anarchy, DeMonaco is able to capture an America controlled by greed, where one's monetary benefit supersedes their morality. While watching The Purge: Anarchy I couldn't help but wonder how Frank Grillo hasn't become more of a household name. In a performance that almost felt like he was auditioning for Marvel's The Punisher, Grillo brings a quiet, focused vengeance to his role, a tortured-soul whose sense of morality leads him to help the young couple and mother-daughter. While The Purge Anarchy isn't nearly as smart as it thinks it is, James DeMonaco has delivered a much more entertaining film than its predecessor, a bleak, action horror film that is fun to watch, even if DeMonaco needs to lay off a bit on the slow motion shots.
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