Dave’s 3-Word Review:
What I wanted.
I was one of the few that actually was looking forward to the first Purge film. Not because it really looked amazing, but because it posed such a unique line of questions for our society – and the movie definitely did just that. It wasn’t the best movie, though, because even though it posed those questions, it still had one underlining issue…it was more or less just another house invasion type film. I wanted something more, I wanted something that really delved into what this purge really was on a deeper level. I wanted to explore the world and see how it was dealt with…and The Purge: Anarchy totally satisfied me on that hand, on the other…it lost quite a bit of the potential the first film had.
Okay, so the second film focuses on three separate groups of people that come together to experience The Purge firsthand. One couple, hassled by a bunch of Skullriders (coined by me) are stuck outside as the purge begins, while another group are forced outside of their home by a rapist and other random killers. These two groups are met by a guy credited as “Sergeant” (Frank Grillo), who is a purger turned vigilante who saves these people running from other maniacs – but is the saying true…once a purger, always a purger? Meanwhile, a group of Anti-Purge radicals are lurking in the shadows, ready to make their plans known.
This is weirdly exactly what I wanted from the first, but it’s not how I wanted it to be presented. I wanted to see the world, and the varying perspectives of the purge. It’s such a mind-boggler that makes you ponder society – and the shifts in what we’re always willing to do. The first was more or less just a house invasion flick. I wanted to see more, I wanted to see them take blunt risks to show the depth of human insanity. I wanted to see more crimes, and different people and…all that – and this movie more or less had all of that. There were more crimes, there were varied perspectives from different people, including a purger as a main character. However, it was so…so…mediocre in everything that it does. Just watch the thing, it feels too much like a B-movie to ignore. The acting was melodramatic, the color filters on the camera felt like some kid messing around on instagram…it really disappointed me.
You ask me, this film still poses a lot of questions about society, it’s just watered down too much. I actually like the radicals willing to go the extra miles to stop the government-sanctioned Purge. I actually like the idea of a vigilante, practically Batman, saving the innocent victims of this hateful day. The material was really good. It was very smart, it just wasn’t put together all that well…actually, I don’t think they took it very seriously. They just wanted a movie to be made because they wanted money – and they ignored how much potential it actually had. So on one hand, it had absolutely everything I wanted that was missing from the first, it just removed everything that was good about the first at the same exact time. It’s a catch 22…or something.
When I first heard about The Purge, I thought the idea was incredible, and my mind shot to so many different what ifs? I mean, every crime is legal, including murder. Why focus only on murder, why focus only on this one family in this one house – making it just another home invasion flick? Why not expand the universe, expand their limits, go wild? They went wild in The Purge: Anarchy. They explored different crimes and different perspectives – and got political at the same time.
They just forgot everything that was good about the first movie. The first was very simple, and it posed a very interesting question. The second just wanted to make money, so it was very mediocre and didn’t take anything seriously anymore. In short, missed opportunity and potential.