REVIEW: THE PURGE: ANARCHY

CAST
Frank Grillo (Beyond Skyline)
Carmen Ejogo (Selma)
Zach Gilford (The Last Stand)
Kiele Sanchez (Lost)
Zoe Soul (Prisoners)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Noel Gugliemi (The Fast and The Furious)
Michael Kenneth Williams (Gone Baby Gone)
Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn)
On March 21, 2023, the media credits the Purge for low unemployment and poverty levels across the country. Hours before the annual Purge begins, people either prepare to commit violence or barricade themselves indoors. Meanwhile, an anti-Purge resistance group intermittently hacks into TV programs to broadcast messages challenging the system, stating that the Purge does not cleanse aggression, but rather eliminates the poor. In Los Angeles, a waitress named Eva Sanchez (Carmen Ejogo) rushes home to her daughter Cali (Zoë Soul) and her terminally ill father. As they prepare to lock down for the evening, Eva’s father slips out and into a waiting limo. A note left behind explains that he has sold himself as a Purge offering for $100,000 to be paid to Eva following the Purge.
Married couple Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) are driving to Shane’s sister to wait out the Purge. Their car dies just as the Purge commences. A gang that cut their fuel line when they stopped at a market appears, forcing Shane and Liz to flee on foot. Elsewhere, an unnamed off-duty police Sergeant (Frank Grillo) tells his ex-wife that he must Purge to avenge the death of his son, and goes out into the streets heavily armed.
Moments after the Purge commences, a truck pulls up at the apartment house and disgorges heavily armed paramilitary men into the neighborhood. The apartment building’s superintendent Diego, who felt rejected by Eva in the past, bursts in with a shotgun intending to rape and kill them both. Diego sexually abuses Eva as he hears noises outside. As Diego stands up and challenges the paramilitary men, they shoot him to death, and drag Eva and Cali out into the street to their leader Big Daddy (Jack Conley) for his own personal Purge. As Big Daddy prepares his minigun to murder Eva and Cali, the Sergeant exits his car, murders all the surrounding paramilitary men and shoots Big Daddy in his cheek, incapacitating him. He rescues Eva and Cali, offering them protection. Returning to his car, the Sergeant finds Shane and Liz hiding in the back. The Sergeant is forced to take them when Big Daddy begins firing the minigun at the Sergeant’s car. When the heavily damaged car breaks down a few blocks later, Eva promises him the car of her co-worker Tanya (Justina Machado) if the Sergeant takes them to her apartment.
The group descends into the city’s underground subway system where the homeless are hiding to avoid the Purgers on higher ground. They think they are safe, but a Purge pyrotechnics gang wielding flamethrowers and a minigun arrive in the tunnel and begin to set the homeless people on fire, while also starting to advance on the Sergeant and the others. The gang attempts to murder the group, but Shane and Liz use the Sergeant’s machine guns and open fire on their assailants, creating a massive explosion which kills the murderers, and the five leave the tunnel to reach higher ground.
As the five survive intense street fighting, they notice a man in a suit tied to a wall outside with a knife in his stomach, implying that many wealthy Purgers and paramilitary men are being murdered by Anti-Purge resistance fighters. After reaching Tanya’s apartment, Eva admits that there is no car. As Tanya’s family aids the five with food and medicine, her sister Lorraine (Roberta Valderrama) suddenly shoots and kills Tanya for having sex with her husband. Lorraine shoots at family members and engages in a gunfight with the Sergeant as he tells Eva and the others to leave, and they exit the apartment. As the group flees, Big Daddy, who has tracked them through traffic cameras, arrives with more armed guards. The group evades Big Daddy only to be captured by the gang that was pursuing Liz and Shane.
Liz asks the gang why they are doing this, and one of the masked members responds that they will not kill them, but that they will die that night. The gang leaves the five at a building where they are delivered to a theater where wealthy Purgers bid on them, and if they are chosen then will be forced into a chamber to be killed. Five wealthy Purgers bid on the group, and they are forced into the chamber. However, the Sergeant and the others gain the upper hand over the Purgers. The observers of the event alert the theater’s elite security forces of the activity after the Sergeant kills five of the wealthy Purgers, and they swarm the chamber and kill Shane. Just before the security can kill the four, Anti-Purge insurgency forces storm the chamber and begin to murder the security guards, killing a large number of them. Liz chooses to join the fighters to avenge Shane’s death. The Sergeant hijacks a wealthy Purger’s Cadillac with Eva and Cali, and threatens her before they drive away.
The Sergeant drives to a suburban neighborhood. He explains that a year earlier, a man named Warren Grass (Brandon Keener) was driving under the influence one day when Grass hit the Sergeant’s son, killing him. Sergeant attacks Grass and his wife in their bedroom, threatening Grass with a knife before the camera cuts away. Leaving the house, the Sergeant is shot and wounded by Big Daddy, who says the New Founding Fathers believe the Purge eliminates too few of lower class and they have secretly dispatched death squads to increase the body count. He states the unwritten rule: do not save people. But before he kills Sergeant, Grass appears and shoots Big Daddy, killing him, revealing that Sergeant chose to forgive and spare him. Eva, Cali, and Grass have a standoff with Big Daddy’s death squad when the siren blares, ending the 12-hour Purge and forcing the death squad to leave the scene. Grass, Eva, and Cali rush the Sergeant to the hospital as emergency services begin cleaning up after the Annual Purge.
Yes the movie isn’t perfect- we don’t get to know our characters well enough to care too much. But there is this underlining dread about the movie, like waiting for something to happen that grips your most inner fears, and this movie has that down to a tea. It could have been better and the climax isn’t as rewarding as it promises to be, but The Purge: Anarchy is a real surprise.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s