[Review] – The Purge Anarchy
As the third part of The Purge movie franchise is gonna be aired soon in July, I find it appropriate to review the second movie – The Purge Anarchy. In my opinion, The Purge Anarchy is a pretty good upgraded version of The Purge.
The Purge: Anarchy
The movie takes place in a fictional US led by the Founding Fathers who promote the Purge as a traditional and annual day for the country. During Purging Day which lasts 12 hours, all crimes are legal, including murder.
The Purge series in general is built on an interesting premise: when the United States allow all crimes and killings. The supposed tremendous benefits from this purge is to decrease crime rates significantly and foster economy’s growth. However, on what expense? The answer to this question is revealed as the plot unfolds.
One of the perks that The Purge: Anarchy has is its position as a sequel. It does not have to deal with the introduction of the purge’s concept but instead delves deeper into how it affects the reel society. This is shown through the expansion of the setting from the original movie. If the first movie in the series only focuses around one household, The Purge Anarchy includes in its plot a group of people coming from different backgrounds, either races or classes. They have to seek for survival during the 12 hours of death. So, Anarchy is considered a major improvement from the first part. In fact, The Purge was a huge disappointment when it was released: with such a promising premise, directors instead decided to conform to the cliché home invasion theme coupled with average acting from the cast.
In The Purge: Anarchy, tensity and fear are well-developed. The frequent wide shots of the group wandering around the city raises fear and suspense rather than any sense of freedom. This is due to the mise-en-scene of empty streets, dimly lit corners which allow for the dominance of darkness. The terror is gradually built from uncertainty: It’s hard to tell where and when the main characters will encounter murderous groups hungry for blood and killings. That’s what keep the group members, as well as us audience, always on edge looking out for what’s going to happen next. Even when the vast background is then confined to an apartment room, the temporary peaceful atmosphere established there soon turns out to be just an illusion to further emphasize the constant death risks they are all facing. Nowhere is safe. They have to keep on running to survive.
The custom masks used in the movie serves as the horrific depiction of people’s innermost aggressive impulses and hatred. People who come from different backgrounds and classes all become equally barbaric while hidden their identities behind these masks. But rich people who participate in the purge don’t wear mask. The contrast between these two groups, the oppressors and the oppressed, is highlighted in this sense. In the end, those who need no masks have already perfected their human masks; Because even when we look at those people in their truest physical appearance, they are no less than those inhumane masks.
The Purge: Anarchy is a decent movie with positive improvements on acting and storyline. Although the climax can be a bit unsatisfying for some, but I thoroughly enjoy it as well as the whole movie. An open ending ( in some aspects) of the movie both reflects accurately the unsolved conflict between societal classes and also leaves the undetermined ending of the purge to the next movie of the franchise: The Purge Election Year.
While I would not recommend The Purge, The Purge Anarchy turns out to be a good choice to try out if you’re interested in the premise of the franchise.