Saturday, November 29, 2014

FILM REVIEW: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)


If you've heard that this Purge  movie is actually pretty good...well, you heard correctly, my friend. It's actually pretty good. Nothing special, or anything...but, it's nowhere near as bad as the first Purge  movie. As a wise man once said...if it hasn't been purged the first time around...then, best to purge again...until it is all purged. Actually...no wise man has ever said anything like that...but, let's discuss this movie...shall we?

So, let us begin this Purge  discussion with a little thing called Super Low Expectations. You see...sometimes, just sometimes, a film can actually feel really great if you go into it thinking that it's gonna suck a gaggle of cocks. Which is why I took a few days after viewing the film to actually write my review. It's not that the film was bad by any measure...it was actually executed very well and much more memorable than the first entry. However, upon thinking more on it...it wasn't as great as I was ready to declare it once the credits rolled.

Watching this new installment, it is easy to see that writer/director James DeMonaco listened to the scathing reviews that the first film brought and spiced things up a notch. We here at the mighty offices (mother's basement) of Film Deviant didn't feel the need to explore the suckage of the first film...so, we never bothered with a review. Hell...I pretty much slept through most of it. Yes...it was that bad. But, hey...the first Purge  actually raked in enough money to warrant another excursion into that cinematic universe...so, here we are. I will say, tho...the premise is an intriguing one: Every year in-a-not-so-distant world, the government allows one full night to "purge" whatever demons one may have living within them and grants everyone full anarchy...until the next morning. So, while the first film was limited to Ethan Hawke's living room...the sequel allows us more of a tour around the city as the mayhem ensues.


Frank Grillo, who plays someone simply called "Sergeant", takes the driver's seat in this film. And...wow....does he ever...take the driver's seat. Grillo plays a man who has a personal mission of revenge all his own on "Purge Night"...until he stumbles upon two girls (isn't it always??) in jeopardy. Sooo...he breaks his mission in order to help these two girls. The plot pretty much expands from there and we are finally introduced to the derelicts of the night throughout the rest of the running time...getting into all kinds of crazy situations that our "heroes" have to fight their way out of. I'm sure the "rinse/repeat" formula would have gotten a ton more tedious had it not been for Mr. Frank Grillo chewing threw every little scene...thus making this film his own. He's really great in it.

Having said all of that....I really didn't care too much about the other characters. If we can be completely honest with each other, my Deviant little soul kinda wanted them all to perish in new and fun ways. Is that bad? Well...kinda. I mean, nothing against all the other actors in the film....because they actually all do a great job for what is given to them. But, for a film with a premise like this...you're kinda hoping that there will be much more bloodshed and inventive deaths. I mean...technically, these characters have a whole year to think this shit through....right? So, the film kinda lacked that sense of dread that I was hoping for....thus, making it feel more like an action film....rather than the label of horror it has attached to it. I mean...it is called "Anarchy" after all.


But, that's not to say that the film is bad in any way. It just lacks the true horror that might take place if a world like this actually existed. I was kind of hoping for something more sinister...and instead felt it to be an unnecessary knock off of better films like The Running Man  and Escape from New York. Not that that would've been a bad thing if done right...but, you do feel like you've been here before. It just never really feels like it lives up to its "Anarchy" title and the premise is never really fleshed out completely. There's even some kind of activist gang that busts into the scene during a convenient time which reinforces the fact that the stakes are never really heightened.

I would recommend The Purge: Anarchy  as a one dollar rental at your local RedBox when everything else better is not available...and nothing more. As I said earlier, I might've hailed the film a lot higher had I not really thought too much about it and wrote my review directly after the credits rolled. But, it is not a great film. It's just much better than the first Purge. Also...Frank Grillo for Punisher!




Thanks for reading,

bryan.




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