STARRING: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Soul, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez and Michael K. Williams
Five people work together to survive on the streets as the annual purge commences.
A year after the events of the original (So we’re now in 2023), where one man is loading up his weaponry for his own agenda, a mother and daughter’s apartment block is under attack and a couple are on a run from a gang hunting them on the annual Purge night. The five of them evidently meet up and band together to survive the night on the streets of Los Angeles, avoiding numerous gangs in the process.
Anarchy goes to where you wanted the first one to go, which is the streets, to give you the scope of what the gentle Stepford suburbans get up to on Purge night, but also we get to see The Purge antics from a different perspective. We see that there’s this government army going around collecting people in mapped out blocks/buildings for a reason we get to learn as the film progresses and also that some civilians are taking on the New Founding Fathers, led by Carmelo Jones, who seeks new followers to fight against them and their antics against the poor, working class people. I like that there was that angle in this film, as it wasn’t really addressed of ‘How can everyone be happy to be in a world like this?’ in the first Purge film, but clearly it’s one of the focus points here that could lead into the third film perhaps (Come on, you know there’s going to be a third one).
The obvious positive of this film is Frank Grillo’s performance in the lead of this film. I’ve been a fan of Grillo’s for a while now (back when Prison Break was good right?), here he is a man who is out on Purge night for his own agenda but ends up helping these four people to safety on his travels before he gets back to his main objective. The scene of him trying to psyche himself out of helping the mother/daughter was pivotal to root for the character, especially as he takes it upon himself to save them. Helps to that the character was a badass, you get a glimpse of what to expect from him in a Death Wish remake in the future (I believe it’s still on course to be made). The other four actors don’t get as much of a backstory in comparison as Grillo’s, with Carmen Ejogo and Zoe Soul as the mother and daughter, then there’s Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez as a couple on the brink of a collapsed relationship, but they do at least stand their ground and fight during this film rather than be constantly panicked and useless throughout (I understand they’re running for their lives but at least not splitting up etc. they’re already a better knitted group than the Sandins in the last film).
I also like that it went for more of a action vibe than the horror feeling, yet it feels like it’s trying to hard to fuse the revolt from the group led by Carmelo Jones with those elements in the background and that could’ve been developed more, then again as I said they could easily led that into the third film (Also nice to see a particular character from the first film return here). Also another few hours and we don’t understand more about who these New Founding Founders are or how they came to be about and i’m slightly let down by that.
Enjoyed alot more than the original, Anarchy brings forth the Purge on the streets that people wanted and that’s what people get. Special mention for Frank Grillo’s performance as the lone gunman. 7/10