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REVIEW OF THE PURGE: ANARCHY

year: 2014 rating: **1/2
In a ridiculous yet intriguing premise… of a future America where, once a year in a twenty-four hour time span, looting and murder are legal in order to cut down the crime rate… the potential for bloody mayhem is limitless...

In the first movie, all taking place within the confides of one family's residence, sporadic news reels show the bedlam outside… So welcome to the streetwise sequel where the real stuff occurs. But after a twenty-minute setup, we never get to know the characters well enough to really care about them...

Consisting of a mother and daughter left alone inside an apartment building, and a young couple whose car broke down in the middle of a bridge, the would-be victims are merely peripheral to Frank Grillo’s Sergeant, an action hero so swarthy and dynamic the movie could have been named after him alone – at which point the titular premise doesn't even matter... Anarchy wouldn't hinder Rambo or The Terminator one bit.

Much like the 1979 cult film THE WARRIORS, the hunted prey go from location to location avoiding masked gangs ranging from cutthroat street scum to a violent militia stocked with heavy ammunition… And yet the real villains, sought after by contrived revolutionaries, might not be so hungry and desperate... Sound familiar? Despite the flaws, Frank Grillo makes a terrific leader of the pack but perhaps he’s too good a thing... While his group and the audience feel completely safe while he's around, there lacks the necessary suspense and vulnerability of not  knowing what lurks around each corner... It's all pretty much taken care of.
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