(USA • James DeMonaco • 2014)
Though still not perfect, ‘The Purge – Anarchy’ (sequel to the same director’s 2013 ‘The Purge’) is a vast improvement on its predecessor, taking an ‘Escape from New York’ angle, and ramping up the tension with a fair degree of style and some interesting ideas. The basic premise is great; for nine years America’s New Founding Fathers have kept crime and disorder to a minimum by legislating the annual ‘Purge’ – the one night of the year when all crime (and the use of weapons of “Class Four or lower”), is legal, allowing the populace twelve hours of violent catharsis.
The only citizens exempt from becoming targets are government officials of “Level Ten” or above, gangs, religious nutters, and shadowy high-tech death squads roam the streets, rooftop snipers pick people off, and the rich buy the poor and the sick for use as martyrs, to be slaughtered in the safety and comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, a band of unfortunates is thrown together, trying to keep safe until morning… All too plausible – particularly the rich hunting the poor – and even more entertaining for it!