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The Purge: Anarchy

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PURGE PHOTOAs I stated in my review of Sex Tape – the premise could be anything. A normal couple makes a sex tape, and it gets out for everyone to see. Fine. They just forgot to write jokes.

The Purge: Anarchy – crime goes down to only 5%, because the government decides there’s one 24 hour window each year where you can commit any crime and not go to jail. Sure, there are a million flaws with that logic and there’d need to be ground rules. For example, in boxing…if you punch after the bell, you get docked a point or could lose the match. What happens if you’re stabbing somebody just as the 24 hour window closes? Do you do jail time? Do you get to continue on finishing off the person? Really, let’s not delve into the many plot holes. That would be pointless.

I suppose we’re supposed to feel the social satire of it all is deep. After all, it’s the poor and middle-class that have to deal with all this. Nobody can just run into the gated homes and start killing. Yet if they wanted to go down these paths, they needed smarter writing. Apparently the first movie went for more horror. This is like a mix of Escape From New York and The Warriors.

I suppose audiences will love the idea of regular folks being trapped when their car breaks down just minutes before the purge is to take place. I just wondered why anybody would be grocery shopping a few hours before this all starts. Since everyone else was boarding up their homes, you’d think they would do the same thing, too. Wait, didn’t I just say I wouldn’t talk about the plot holes?

The acting is horrible, the dialogue insipid. The premise – a “good guy” that isn’t interested in “purging” on innocent people but wants revenge on a guy that got out of jail, helps a few women that were about to be murdered. He finds another couple hiding out in his armored Charger. They have to go all through town hoping all the other crazies don’t kill them.

The story has a revolutionary, Black Panther type preaching out against the purge. He claims it’s a way the rich and powerful can eliminate the minority population. I suppose that was a decent side story. Although from the looks of things, not all that many in the population are being eradicated. Just the folks dumb enough to go outside, or the other criminals out looking for victims. It seems letting them purge on each other isn’t such a bad idea, is it? You could watch from your window like it’s some dorky video game where one gang shoots up another gang. I’d opt for the bullet proof windows, though.

There’s a cute waitress (Carmen Ejogo) that just wants to keep her daughter (Zoe Soul) and dad (John Beasley) safe. Well, pops has a terminal disease and has some other things in mind. Will he strap on an Uzi and take part in the purge? Well, if you’re actually interested in finding out, this is the movie for you.

To make this one of those B-movies you’d have fun watching late at night, it needed a lot more humor. It would’ve also helped if the cast acted like their lives were on the line. You really don’t care about any of them and whether or not they survive the night.

I thought about how much fun I had watching the first Mad Max movie on HBO as a 13-year-old. I also thought about how much more enjoyable this would’ve been with a few big name actors. Perhaps Samuel Jackson as the revolutionary shouting into the TV sets.

I also couldn’t get past the fact that there are no ground rules. Could crazy ex-husbands just stalk their ex-wives for a week before the purge? Once it starts, they kill them. Are you even allowed to plan who you kill? Why did this guy that wanted revenge on somebody that harmed his family, wait to leave his house when the time came. Perhaps he would’ve been better served already being outside the dudes house when the purge started.

Who really cares? This is an ugly film, with lots of nihilistic behavior.

It gets 1 star out of 5. That’s for the scary masks of the dudes on the motorcycles.