Last year’s low-budge film “The Purge” is back with “Anarchy” added to the title. It covers the same ground as the original but surprisingly indicts the “1 percent.”
Idea is that the government (purportedly of the USA) has decreed a once-a-year 12-hour period where citizens can tear up the town, commit murder and other heinous crimes without facing charges. Point is to keep crime down with the annual safety valve.
Film opens with Eva (Carmen Ejogo) working in a restaurant winding up her shift before the Purge begins. She goes home to her father (John Beasley) and 15-year old daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). The father sneaks out for a date with rich folk who enjoy hacking people to pieces, he gets a reward for his daughter for his sacrifice.
Sergeant Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) is gunning up for the Purge so he can slay the people who killed his son. Also on board are Shane (Zach Clifford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), a couple who got stranded in town in their defunct car as the Purge began.
The government urges citizens “to have a good cleanse” and violence begins. Inadvertently, Barnes takes over the other four and leads them thought the streets, killing some baddies along the way.
Director James DeMonaco keeps the action moving and the plot twists fun, with the big surprise toward the end when the rich folk who run the government bid on the chance to kill the five. Big surprise for a gun/slasher movie --- attacking the 1 per cent. A revolutionary group vows to end the Purge government as the moneyed class flees.
Cast is solid, with Ejogo a standout. Plenty of action, gunfire, big machine guns hidden in trucks. No big computer-generated images but a bus wildly careens across the screen.
This is a tad better than the first “Purge” film, not great but better.
• Frank Grillo as Sergeant Leo Barnes
• Carmen Ejogo as Eva
• Zach Gilford as Shane
• Kiele Sanchez as Liz
• Zoe Soul as Cali
• Michael K. Williams as Carmelo
• Justina Machado as Tanya
• John Beasley as Papa Rico
• Jack Conley as Big Daddy
• Noel Gugliemi as Diego
• Castulo Guerra as Barney
• Edwin Hodge as Dwayne The Stranger
• Keith Stanfield as Young Ghoul Face
• Roberta Valderrama as Lorraine
• Brandon Keener as Warren Grass
• Chad Morgan as Janice
• James DeMonaco
• Produced by
• Jason Blum
• Andrew Form
• Bradley Fuller
• Sebastien Lemercier
• Michael Bay
• Written by
• James DeMonaco
• Music by
• Nathan Whitehead
• Jacques Jouffret
• Edited by
• Todd E. Miller
• Running time
103 minutes, rated R
The Associated Press contributed to this report