When the first Purge hit theaters in 2013 it was met with mixed reviews, but like it or not offered up something new and did great at the box office. Numerous fans saw the potential for franchise with the way the idea is laid out and thankfully the studio saw the same thing. Now the latest in the series The Purge: Anarchy is here and looks to broaden the range of the annual purge, but does it live up to the fun of the original?
The Purge: Anarchy follows five people who are unwittingly thrust together out in the open during the annual purge and forced to work together to survive the night with each having their own agenda and issues. While the first film played up more like a horror film, this outing spreads its scope outside the home onto the streets of Los Angeles and plays up more like and action thriller and works quite well. There is a lot more going on here than in the original film making it lose some of what made the original stand out, but that is too be expected as the newness of this idea is gone. Leading the charge this time is the always awesome Frank Grillo who doesn’t get enough lead roles, but this time around gets to bring his rough edginess to the perfect role. He was recently seen in Captain America: Winter Soldier and has expressed interest in taking on the role of The Punisher and this movie is the perfect audition for that role. They could have tweaked the story a bit and fans could easily see Frank Castle fighting during the purge. Getting past that aspect Grillo is a force to be reckoned with in the role as the only member of the group bringing the pain while the rest just seem to be annoying and in the way. Most of the group are irritating but not due to bad acting just their personalities and actions that are par the course of these films, but drive you crazy nonetheless. This film focuses on the action and there is plenty of it. Sure there are the normal purging going on around them, but there is something new in the mix with mysterious semi-trucks with mounted machine guns tearing up the streets making for some high octane action fun.
This film isn’t as personal or scary as the first one played on at times, but does deliver on the fun and makes for the perfect follow up. While it is a standalone film and there is really no need to have seen the original to be able to enjoy this one, there is one brief connection to the original film to look out for that makes it feel more cohesive if you catch it. As it stands this latest entry has already made back its budget and then some so let’s hope this means we will be getting another yearly purge this time next year.