#REVIEW: “THE PURGE: ANARCHY”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
Morals are transient. They last as long as the masses who follow them. The truth of this can be seen in James DeManaco‘s Film, The Purge: Anarchy. Following in the footsteps of his sans suffix Film from last year, Anarchy begins just hours before the annual Purge.
For the uninitiated, the Purge is akin to Holi, in that people gather together with the express purpose of alleviating themselves of error through action. Furthermore, both Festivals represent their Founders’ triumphs over evil. The difference between the two resides in the fact that Holi is symbolic. Its participants enjoy a color-filled fight that rings in the equinox. The Purge on the other hand if far from a bloodless battle, as those involved take up arms from sun down to sun up.
With the sun going down the Film introduces three Storylines: a working Mother and devoted Daughter prepare for the Purge in the projects; a Couple on the brink of divorce try to get over their emotions and home before dusk; and a disgruntled Man arms himself to the teeth as he prepares to release the beast.
In time the three Stories align, and together the five Characters battle their way through the streets. The action is relentless, as it should be, for America has been gifted with the right to rape, murder and maim. The belief, and social evidence, prove that such isolated debauchery ultimately leads to a safer state. However, for those caught in the Purge, this philosophy is desperately questioned. In turn the Audience is forced to question the value of the act as well.
Herein lies the strength of The Purge Franchise, its philosophical and political qualities. This time around we can further see how Fascism is employed by the New Founding Fathers. DeManaco allows the Audience to be observer and shows them the price of success. Great food for thought, (with a side order of biped beef for those less interested in the mindful meat).
With regards to the cast acting out this horrific symposium, actor Frank Grillo deserves to be highlighted. He plays Sergeant, the hell-bent hunter with a Frank Castle aesthetic. His demeanor and movement are perfect for his Character. Though the writing doesn’t allow him to go too deep into Sarge‘s personal plight, he nevertheless acts as a great guide through a grotesque world. Like Virgil, he leads us past the point of abandoned hope, and in that hellish landscape we wonder if the path to paradise truly begins in hell… or perhaps, hell is all humanity has to offer.
Universal Pictures Canada release The Purge: Anarchy, in theatres Friday, July 18, 2014.