So I was told skip the first one and go straight to the sequel. I was told that this film would be a lot of anarchic fun. Well some of it was…..but boy were there a lot of missed opportunities. In the not so distant future the US government allow a 12 hour crime scene to ‘purge’ the citizens of their violent tendencies. We are introduced to financially stricken mother and daughter (Carmen Ejogo and the so damn annoying Zoe Soul), the wronged father (Frank Grillo) and a couple who are on the outs with each other who all end up joining forces to survive the night.
The film starts off promising with a strong set up for the characters. Especially Ejogo and Grillo who both give believable and likeable performances. Which is extremely important because there can be nothing worse in a horror film than leads you dislike. The situations they all find themselves in is a little cliched but thanks to the stakes of the early scenes their journeys seem important. The film’s title does promise anarchy but what we get is about a dozen bad guys against the protagonists on empty streets. This is cool however false advertising can be dangerous. I was highly engaged when watching the first act but by the time things come half way the film goes plummeting down. Taking similar themes from better films such as Hostel and Hunger Games, Purge: Anarchy dabbles in the topic of the wealthy pitting the poor against each other for entertainment. Audiences have seen this again and again that by now the inclusion of this topic feels tired and laughable. This is when my brain switched off and not in a ‘this is mindless fun’ good way. The lead up is so promising that I wish the director had trusted himself enough not to go down the road most travelled.
Besides that the kills are nice and gruesome and it was an easy watch. However teasing a great film at the beginning only to take the safe route makes Daniel angry.