Judging by the audience in the theater for the advance screening of "The Purge 2: Anarchy", there are two demographics the studio expects for this film - middle aged journalists who are bitter about life, and teenagers who want to watch violence, and sex ... not necessarily in that order.
One year after The Purge was a surprise hit, the sequel of terror is here with a different cast of characters but living in the same premise - kill, or be killed. The concept for the film isn't awful, but ...
The story: The Purge is a government green light for citizens to do whatever it wants in a 12-hour period, including murder and destruction. Some people choose to participate in the The Purge, while others hide.
The wealthy use the purge as a chance to kill poor people, while some use it to exact revenge as others just have fun by murdering people for sport. Basically, it's paintball. Only people die.
The characters: There are too many to count, which is just a part of this film's problem. Sergeant (Frank Grillo) is a man with a plan to exact revenge on the drunk driver who killed his son.
Reluctantly, he teams up with Eva and Cali (Carmen Ejogo and Zoe Soul) are a mother/daughter who merely trying to survive, and Shane and Liz (real life couple Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) whose car broke down just outside of downtown LA before the start of The Purge.
This fivesome runs around in a mostly deserted LA trying to avoid being shot, while making it to morning when the purge ends.
There is a message: Writer/director James DeMonaco has something to say in this film regarding violence, class distinction and class warfare in America. That violence is a way for the lower class to eliminate itself, and - at least in the Purge - the wealthy use it to hunt live people for fun.
The message is mostly lost amid the noise, over-the-top violence and script that can't focus on anything. There are scenes and fragments here that could really work.
What a waste: Michael K. Williams is lost in a role as an anti-purge, anti-government leader.
Is it scary? No. Just violent. Scenes of deserted LA are fun, and the ghost bus on fire is a cool effect for about two seconds.
Should you see it: Nope.
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