Let’s take a moment and honor the unsung heroes of Purge night, the ones who will probably never make it into a Purge film:
-Ned Farley; the guy who has always wanted to go down a Wisconsin Dells water slide completely naked
-Sarah Murphy; a woman who just likes to jaywalk across city streets for the entirety of the 12 hours
-Eddie Herrera; the guy who used a torrent to download Pearl Jam’s entire discography for free, then made his own Best-of-Pearl-Jam mix CD, and gave copies to two of his friends because they expressed interest in hearing his top 15 Pearl Jam songs the last time they hung out
-Stephen Bradley; a dorky 15-year-old who finally got to purchase Mike’s Hard Lemonade to impress that girl he likes from History class who only likes the popular boys
-Bill Westerman; the man who really just wanted to do a line of cocaine on a McDonald’s cash register for some reason
-Dale Richards; a father of two who burned a bunch of leaves in his backyard without a permit because they were an eyesore and he had nowhere else to put them
-Tommy Hoover; a guy who edited a riveting 2013 baseball highlight reel and uploaded it to YouTube *without* Major League Baseball’s written consent. He even used that Imagine Dragons song without the proper permission
-Larry Paul; a surly gentleman who walked around his town’s downtown area with an open container of alcohol, publicly urinating on almost every wall he walked past
-Cindy Webb; an elderly woman who shared her prescription pain medication with her lifelong friend Verna McCormick, because she was having some back pains that night and the Walgreens was closed
-Karl Kennedy and Warren Massey; a lovely couple from Rock Springs, who had a tasteful-yet-fun same-sex marriage in Wyoming
-Joshua Boone; a 24-year-old man who littered an entire bag of Taco Bell wrappers right on the sidewalk
-Lisa O’Donnell; a lady who finally got to drive her expensive convertible around the neighborhood 30 MPH over the speed limit while blasting Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” at an obnoxious volume, much to the dismay of the neighbors she doesn’t much care for anyway
…Purge on, you crazy diamonds…
Anyway, the new Purge movie actually highlights a few more daring individuals, such as Angry Badass Guy Who is Not John Hamm, who saves some innocent people’s lives who got unfortunately stuck outside during the night ‘o violence. They get chased by people wearing masks, people not wearing masks, and people who may or may not have forgotten their masks at home but wish they had brought them, and are now kicking themselves for their mistake.
This movie came a little bit closer to my suggestions from my review of the first film, highlighting a wider variety of Purge activity, even if it’s just snippets. I would prefer this to have been an anthology picture full of short films, but at least it’s not just 90 minutes of story being told in one location like last time. The Purge is a great concept for a film, and there are lots of activities to potentially cover, and at least the filmmakers had the enthusiasm to attempt to show a larger diversity of Purging this time around.
While they weren’t completely mind-blowing developments, the film displayed two main groups of people who will probably have a stronger presence in the next Purge film; a government sent military operation that exterminates people because the population numbers need to be brought down, and a revolutionary group (led awesomely by Michael K. Williams) who are super anti-Purge and want to lead a coup against the “New Founding Fathers”. I can imagine this franchise is about to go less the way of showing small time Purging activities, and more towards a large-scale government overthrowing, a la Hunger Games. I could see why they would want to do this to move this “story” along, but they basically had an endless supply of stories they could tell about Purge night if they felt like dragging these movies out until Purge: Velocity, the 8th film of the series to be released in 2025. But I assume you can at least expect a Purge: Rebellion, Purge: Revolution, or Purge: Mutiny in 2015 or 2016. These movies make too much money for such little production costs to *not* come out over and over again.
On the note about movie titles, why was this film called Purge: Anarchy, anyway? From the government death squads, to the human wranglers, to the “Most Dangerous Game” rip-off auctions, everything was super organized. Everything was well prepared for and everyone had their plans in order way ahead of time. Isn’t that the opposite of anarchy? This should have been called Purge: Coordination. Anyway, I kind of enjoyed the movie on an entertainingly dumb level, about as much as I liked the first one, but I’m sure most of you will hate it. Purge on! [eats a bald eagle]
6.5 out of 10