One night a year, Americans are given 12 hours to purge all of their dark desires without any criminal charges being brought against them. Of course, there are certain people that are not allowed to be killed and certain weapons that are banned from being used. Other than that, everyone is free to do whatever they please.
In The Purge, we follow a wealthy family whose home is being invaded as a consequence of helping someone survive that was a target of someone else’s purge. The film had quite a bit of potential and talent with stars like Game of Thrones star Lena Headey and heartthrob Ethan Hawke, but that potential was sadly wasted in what was a disappointing film.
The Purge: Anarchy, while a better film, still had some wasted potential in its disappointing story line.
The story revolves around three sets of people, a woman and her daughter, a married couple and a man out to purge a bit of revenge.
The married couple are stranded out in the middle of the purge when their car breaks down on the side of the road due to vandalism. The mother and daughter are dragged out of their apartment and into the streets by men in uniform to be killed by a man with a high powered weapon in the back of a truck. The vengeful man, aka the Sergeant, sees the women and, against his better judgment, decides to help them. While he is rescuing the two women, the married couple slip into his car to hide from the people who vandalized their car and are out to purge.
Now the Sergeant, who is the only one with the ability to protect himself or them, is responsible for keeping the group alive in a city filled with people out to kill them.
The best part of the entire film was the Sergeant, played by Frank Grillo. Let’s be honest here, any scene he was not in was not really worth seeing. His character is the only interesting one because they give him a bit of mystery while everyone else is an open book. Besides, who doesn’t appreciate a total badass? When I say total badass, I mean that with complete sincerity. That guy is exactly who I want with me during a life or death situation.
The story is a little lame. While it’s cool that they are trapped outside during the purge instead of in the safety of their home like the first, the subplot of the government targeting and killing the poor and lower class people was really stupid to me. There is a Hostel type moment where they are auctioned off to the wealthy and thrown into a hunting ground for those wealthy buyers to, well, hunt and kill them. I found this addition to be especially stupid until the Sergeant goes all Punisher on everyone. But things get stupid again before long.
In the end, The Purge: Anarchy is worth going to see. It isn’t the best movie you will see all year but it certainly won’t be the worst.
If you get your hands on one of those masks, feel free to send one my way.