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Purge: Anarchy, The (2014)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Purge: Anarchy, The (2014) Popping this movie in, at first I wondered if I wasn't just watching the dang news. Ferguson riots, anyone? Looks about the same to me, like Hollywood is copying reality this time- and there doesn't need to be an endorsed holiday, it's whenever the whim hits, whatever lame reason the small-minded can concoct. (Okay, sermon over!) This is the follow-up to THE PURGE, and while I did see the original and even reviewed it, I can barely recall it. Seems the first one was more a home-invasion flick. Both movies take place on "Purge Night", a Government sanctioned holiday lasting 12 hours where anyone can commit any crime they want (especially murder!) and not be prosecuted for it. Supposedly, this is cathartic and leads to lower unemployment and crime rates. ANARCHY follows a few groups of individuals that get caught out in the streets of L.A. when all the psychos of the world are purging themselves, as in...just wasting anyone they see. So the bulk of the movie is this group banding together with a Snake Plissken-ish leader who is out to purge himself- he hopes to kill the man who ran over his son while driving drunk. Can relate to that motivation. Anyway, the middle of this movie FEELS like an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK flick (how 'bout ESCAPE FROM L.A. 2?) as the group tries to find safety in a city gone murderously mad, with killers and whack jobs at every corner trying to off them. I found this part of the movie entertaining and there were some suspenseful moments. The characters were pretty cliche- aside from the Snake wannabe, there's a young couple thinking of breaking up who end up bonding over their predicament (and one of them predictably dies) and two African American women who must be protected by Snake Jr. There's some good moments throughout, ultimately, this viewer felt there's more PURGING that could be explored---there's a million more stories of revenge gone awry that could be told with this concept, and this movie misses them all. By the end, we find out the Government is "secretly" involved with Purge Night, wiping out the less desirable poor people with Army-like troops and the elite RICH FOLKS buy poor people on this night to have hunt and slaughter fests while dining on $500 steaks, much like a HOSTEL concept. Still, the movie moves at a brisk pace and is a generally fun timewaster, although the ending was predictable and too sappy/redemptive for me. The actors are all okay in their roles, haven't heard of any of them before, and the music was pretty cool, but here's to waiting for a third PURGE movie where they get the potential this concept has right!

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