Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for strong disturbing violence, and for language
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
If 1979’s “The Warriors” were remade today, it would be “The Purge: Anarchy”. If 1979’s “The Warriors” were remade today into a good movie, it would be something completely different.
“The Purge: Anarchy” is that rare instance when the writer/director comes back to do the sequel and the sequel seems as if it were written and directed by someone who had heard of the original, but had never seen it. Implementing the routine big budget sequel idea of taking what was done in the original and simply adding “more”, “Anarchy” suffers from the same affliction most sequels tend to suffer from: a simple premise that is nearly obliterated by excess; excess story, excess characters and an excess of things-go-boom moments. Where the delightfully simplistic premise of “The Purge” concerned a family fighting to survive a home invasion on the one night a year where all crime (including murder) is legal, “Anarchy” expands on the original “there’s a killer in my house” horror premise, by taking it to the streets; this time following five people from all walks of life, attempting to survive the night.
Like I said, the first half is basically “The Warriors”, where a group of people must survive the night by getting from point A to point B, whist being chased by gangs of killers (one of which holds a strong resemblance to members of the rap group Odd Future) which, in a pitch meeting, I’m sure sounded great. And in fact, the first 50 minutes or so does deliver an ample amount of tension as the group narrowly escapes one potentially fatal incident after another. After that though, it all goes downhill, as “Anarchy” forces a plot twist, resembling something out of (obscure reference of the day) “Hostel 3”, down our throats; a plot twist which is totally given away in the trailers. LAME! Oh, and the ending sucked too…so, there’s that.
Final Thought: With a not so subtle “rich people bad, poor people good” motif, that gets pretty played out after the first hour. With graphics ranging from meh to not awful. With massive plot holes, such as: Is the city hospital really open on Purge night or did the nurses simply risk death by going into work a little early? Maybe since the Purge is a national holiday (of sorts) nurses and doctors get time and a half? ANYWAY, all of that would have been tolerable if not for writer/director James DeMonaco making it so I really never cared about any of the characters, their destination or their fates. It should also say a tremendous amount about the performances that I don’t think it was worth naming any of the actors. Furthermore, by forcing a simple idea to stretch beyond its means, “Anarchy” seems to have lost all of the dystopian uneasiness which made its predecessor halfway intriguing.
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