Nerdlocker Film Review – The Purge: Anarchy


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In a world of crime, hatred, greed, and addiction, a new form of government called the “Founding Fathers” evolved and have taken matters into their own hands. In an almost spiritual and ominous world, the Purge is sanctioned to cleanse all humans of their inner demons by taking it out on each other for twelve hours on this specific night, each year. This aggressiveness consists of killing those people that hurt you the most, the serial killers that weaseled their way out of the prison system, and the greedy bosses that took away severance packages when employees were let go from the company. There are certain rules to follow on this evil night. There are also consequences. But the real question is, who will survive?

Director James Demonaco’s newest installment, The Purge: Anarchy picks up in 2023 and the 6th annual Purge commences at dusk in the illuminant and daunting streets across America. After the first film, The Purge has become a household name worldwide consisting of human vs. human in a no holds barred, fight until death, grudge match. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film, but this movie brought a different raw element that kept me interested from start to finish. None of the surviving members of the first Purge film make an appearance (thank god), but rather starts off with five completely different individuals fighting for their lives, some of which is by choice, and others by terms of bad luck. A mother and daughter Carmen Ejogo and Zoe Soul, a troubled couple played by Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Kiele Sanchez (The Glades), and ex-soldier Frank Grillo (The Warrior, Captain America – The Winter Soldier) come in contact in the most peculiar way in downtown LA. As the couples are coming in contact with their failed relationship, their car breaks down minutes before the Purge begins. My first question, why the hell would you be driving around when a blood bath is about to take place? Luckily, Sergeant (Grillo) is driving around looking to crack some skulls of his own and saves them from being slaughtered with the company of the mother and daughter that also happen to be on the run. Let the Games Begin!


This is where things turn for the worst and bring out all the apocalyptic gangs from the woodworks, which reminded me a lot of The Warriors, Mad Max and Escape from L.A. Each group had their signature style (masks, futuristic vehicle with machine guns, motorcyclists with bats, etc) and come across the group that is running for their lives, literally. This includes huge pyrotechnic flame throwers, machine guns shooting out of the back of semi-trucks, a mass bloody genocide splattering across the streets. I thought this movie gained what the first film severely lacked, which was in your face action! This wasn’t a horror movie per say, but actually an ode to many gritty 80s action films fueled with kick ass artillery and a darker premise. There is a huge political undertone throughout the movie comparable to John Carpenter’s They Live and brutal savaging led by the more sophisticated and white collar community. As the audience climbs deeper into the climax of the film, the rich and sophisticated are paying heavy amounts of money to capture these lower class individuals to torture and kill them in a live studio audience.

There is a group called the “anti-founding fathers” in the film, led by the alluring founder Carmelo, played by Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire, The Wire), which was my favorite character of the movie. No matter what the Founding Fathers try to preach and relay to America, Carmelo (Williams) knows there is a darker message feeding their interests, death. This seems to be the only legitimate group that is not following the new found government practices and policies, and find their ways to Sergeant (Grillo) and his team later in the movie in the most unusual way. As both teams are targeted in a glass death match, the wine induced, opulent audience watches from behind the paned glass. Much like other movies of the past twenty years, it’s a sick and demented game that many people play to be part of to fill their gaping and wealthy lives. The events do NOT end as planned and the twisted game holds more annihilation and bloodshed. Remaining members flee and the hours are counting down until the Purge is finally over.

As most of the audience, including myself, really loved the Sergeant’s (Grillo) role in the film, we all knew there was something larger at stake and his involvement with the Purge. As the night winds down, Grillo comes face to face with his main target, and the reason he was creeping the streets alone. As his predecessors are begging him to change his plan and rethink his next move, anger and hostility get the best of him. The ending had a pretty interesting twist which I didn’t see coming. Overall was a great way to end this action packed and mainstream horror-eque film.


Was there a real underlying lesson to be learned here? Did James DeMonoco want to point out how the rich get richer in politics and the poor struggle to survive every day in the present time? I think so, but what is really at stake here is the fact that the human race will always fight against each other over world issues, and wars will NEVER stop. Demonoco’s close examination of current world issues and incorporation with the action/horror genre re-created something spectacular and refreshing. I thought this would be yet another money-orientated scheme for the movie industry, but this was not a regurgitated sequel. The Purge:Anarchy brought back the American ass-kicking genre that brings bad people down and the good guys will ALWAYS prosper.

Don’t Purge, REVOLT!!

Rated R for: Violence and intense action.
Run time: 103 Minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoe Soul, and Michael K. Williams.
Director: James DeMonoco
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5 / Acting: 3.5 / Directing: 3 / Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls


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