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The Purge: Anarchy

By CURTIS WOLOSCHUK
It's that time of year again. March 21, 2023, has rolled around and some springtime cathartic violence is in order. When James DeMonaco first offered us a glimpse into this speculative future in which crime is legalized for a 12-hour window, we watched Ethan Hawke fend off home invaders who'd targeted his gated suburban community. For this second installment, the cast swells and the theater of combat is expanded to an unnamed downtown core, allowing DeMonaco to explore how various factions of society experience and exploit this annual ritual. While street dealers peddling high-caliber “protection” is an effective touch, the more the film's premise is explored, the more it exposes itself to scrutiny it can’t weather well. For example: Is it the post-Purge cleanup that has brought down unemployment rates? And when it comes to social commentary about class warfare, DeMonaco wields satire like a blunt-force instrument. (The rich buy the poor at auction with a slaughter to follow.) Granted, these might all be minor concerns if the writer-director orchestrated even one memorable action sequence as a vigilante (Frank Grillo) helps four innocent bystanders survive the night. An intense and taciturn lethal weapon, Grillo commands the screen. But his formidable presence only verifies the flimsiness of the film haphazardly assembled around him.
 
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Release Date: Friday, July 25, 2014
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Language, Strong Disturbing Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: C-
  • Starring: Frank Grillo [], Michael Williams []
  • Directed by: James DeMonaco [Director]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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