Released last year from James DeMonaco, The Purge was a missed opportunity. Its premise, where once a year all crime is legal for twelve hours, ended up lost amongst a linear home invasion narrative, and a slight pre-occupation with schoolgirl’s thighs (perhaps Michael Bays only input as producer?).
With its follow-up, subtitled Anarchy, returning director/writer DeMonaco embraces the opportunity for redemption, finally telling the story he wants to by opening up a world barely glimpsed at in the precursor, delving deeper into the dark world of purging.
A vast improvement on the first film in every way, I had a surprisingly good time with this. It’s by no means a masterpiece nor is it trying to be, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface that makes it a more interesting watch than others of its kind.
The subtext that deals with issues of class, race, sex and above all else America’s aptitude for violence (the NRA being essentially redefined as the ‘NFFA’). This elevates the film above its b-movie status and has all the dark satirical stylings of 80’s classics, such as Robocop.
First and foremost, its job is to thrill and entertain, and it does both; DeMonaco upping the ante considerably this time round. The homely setting is switched for a wide cityscape where danger lurks around every corner, providing tension as well as some nasty set pieces; the sequence in a subway is particularly grim.
Genres ranging from sci-fi to horror are expertly woven together, and the world we’re shown on-screen feels developed and lived in. All of the action is handled with a visual flare usually absent from other films of this style, too.
Bad natured but good fun, it’s the type of film you won’t mind watching with a large audience as the gasps, laughs and jumps will heighten the experience. Undoubtedly the second part of a long franchise, if the films continue to be made at this level, the series could turn into something special.
Terrifying and action packed, The Purge: Anarchy is a solidly made b-movie swimming in subtext, and has all the thrills you could want out of a trip to the cinema this summer.
Image credit to http://www.screenrant.com