The Purge: Anarchy

The characters have finally figured out what I said about the first movie -- the only reason the "New Founding Fathers" came up with this Purge idea was to get rid of what they considered the riff-raff. All right, to be fair, all the characters in the first movie were rich enough not to care so much about that, and apparently they were also self-centered enough not to think much about that sort of thing, except for the annoying little boy.

Anyway, the first movie was exactly a year ago, which means it's now 2023 and time for the sixth annual Purge. This time things start going wrong almost immediately, even though no one is particularly stupid about their preparations, except the couple whose car breaks down in the middle of the bridge do seem to be cutting their errand-running a little close. The Purge starts at 7 pm, which means that I'd be barricaded into the safest place I could find by 5:30, latest, not hanging around supermarket parking lots. They're Liz and Shane, played by Kiele Sanchez and Zach Gilford (The Last Stand), respectively, who are helpfully also married in real life.

Meanwhile, Eva (Carmen Ejogo, Alex Cross) and daughter Cali (Zoë Soul, Prisoners) are locking down the apartment where they live with Papa Rico (John Beasley). I'm guessing that Cali was named in honor of a bunch of people listed in the thank-you's at the end, all of whom share the last name of Cali. But Cali says that the angry blogster she's been following online, Carmelo (Michael K. Williams, Robocop) has it right when he says that the Purge was designed by the New Founding Fathers to get rid of the riff-raff. If only I had thought of that.

And meanwhile again, a Man with No Name (Frank Grillo) is suiting up in body armor, checking his many guns, and getting into his armor-covered car to go hunting. Somebody calls him Sergeant at the end, but whether that means police or military I couldn't tell you. He kind of reminds me of the guy from Person of Interest, though.

Predictably, all of them run into each other when things start going particularly wrong, and though the Sergeant is vaguely annoyed at suddenly finding himself with four largely helpless people trailing after him, counting on him to save them, he isn't quite enraged enough to leave them all behind. Cali does try her best to get him really ticked off, though. I couldn't figure her out. Sometimes she seemed like the smartest and most practical of the civilians, at least, and at other times she was just too stupid to know when to shut up already. I admit I'll ramble on sometimes myself, but I'm pretty sure I'd have the sense to be quiet when sneaking through the streets trying to avoid a bunch of heavily-armed maniacs.

And bizarrely, I liked this one better than the first. I know, right? It still isn't exactly grand cinema, but it was entertaining, made more sense, and actually gets three and a quarter out of five. It plugs up a couple of the plot holes from the first movie and relies a lot less on the idea that 95% of the population is just waiting for the chance to rush out and maim and kill just because they feel like it. I mean, I don't think that and I don't even like people, at least not in large groups. And I'd also like to think the movie is wrong in assuming that anyone with a net worth of more than a few million is also morally bankrupt, but I don't actually know enough millionaires to do more than guess on that point.

Image: 
The cast watches as the sergeant tells Cali to shut up for the 367th time.

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