|Of course these guys aren't that important.|
What a tradition it is! Welcome to the Thursday evening installment of the Tagline, where I unveil the second feature presentation of the week. Today it's going to be The Purge: Anarchy, a sequel to 2013's The Purge, a mostly home invasion movie about a family trying to survive the night during a government sanctioned 12 hour period of murder and mayhem, where nearly anything goes (except killin' the government elite OBVIOUSLY). That film, while presenting an interesting original concept, was still a fairly paint by the numbers home invasion movie (unlike say You're Next). In contrast, the sequel is a much more ambitious and adventurous entry, giving a wider, roaming view of the devastation and insanity that is part and parcel of The Purge. The film principally deals with Sergeant Leo Barnes, a police officer heading out into the purge festivities armed to the teeth, with a singular mission that is clearly revenge, though we don't learn exactly what kind until later in the movie. As he cruises down the streets in his armored pimpmobile he comes across a scene where Eva and her daughter Cali are being dragged off by high-tech armed paramilitary agents. Despite his need to accomplish his own grisly end, Leo stops and in a spectacular show of precise violence kills the men attempting to abduct the two women. He then returns to his car to find he's picked up two more lost and scared individuals, Shane and Liz, who for some COMPLETELY UNFATHOMABLE REASON decided that they needed to do some fucking grocery shopping or something like an hour before this bloodbath started. Leo attempts to lead these four to safety, so that he can then resume his mission (he is promised a car by Eva in return for his help, because his gets shot up). Along the way he takes them on a merry tour of the darkest corners of the human psyche.
|Don't be left weaponless when this guy shows up.|
Before I talk more about the movie, I really need to address that Liz and Shane are driving around, like less than two hours before the fun starts, to get seemingly routine shit that could probably wait. Better yet, one can't help but notice that they are doing so COMPLETELY UNARMED. Now were it me, I would just stay the hell home on this most exciting eve of senseless violence, and maybe plan a little bit ahead so I don't get murdered. Now if, for some reason that I literally can't imagine, I had to be out and about right before purge time, I would most certainly not be gallivanting around without any sort of weapon. To the contrary, I'd probably have ALL SORTS OF WEAPONS. Normally this would be the part where the other person would say "Oh yeah I just bet you would, like how would you even know to be ready?" BUT OH WAIT THATS RIGHT, THIS DISASTER IS SCHEDULED AND THEY RING A FUCKING BELL SO YOU KNOW ITS STARTED. As a mass murder event scheduled at the same time every year, I can safely say that if I lived in Purge America, I would be devoting a fairly sizable portion of my budget into defense, because I really don't want to get hacked to bloody pieces. Maybe some people like that, I don't know, but me personally? I'm not a fan.
|I would not mess with this guy.|
ANYWAY now that I vented my frustration at our token upper middle class young white people, being clueless and acting suburban, I can divert back to the actual content of the movie, which is as gruesomely violent as you would probably expect, and filled with encounters with strange, dark tableaus that explore the violent, barbaric impulses that we'd probably all like to pretend our neighbors aren't hiding, but come on I've seen the way they're looking at my cat like he's a meal, I'm on to you sick bastards (I joke, but I do not doubt that there are people out there harboring dark impulses, to say nothing of organized gang violence being given carte blanche). This pretty grim setting gives us an opportunity mostly to consider how shitty the rich treat the not rich (and how close Florida is to just BEING this movie right now) but also to see that Leo is one seriously bad dude, and he is not fucking around. I've seen a lot of movies that were both set in darker versions of the real world and concerned with awful events, but I can say that The Purge manages to be cautionary without being nihilistic. The message here is not that the situation is hopeless, just that the situation is bad, and bad things don't get better if good people just watch and don't try and make them better, preferably in this case by shooting rich people with AKMs while they're having a murder dinner party.
|Less threatened by her though.|
There were maybe a few points where the movies bizarre social situations seemed too uniform, but then again it has been a while since the purge was implemented (either 6 years or 9 I can't seem to remember, but its been going on a while). I think that people need to consider the very real possibility that the government uses the convenient 12 hour window to massacre dissidents and political enemies. I was amazed to find out that this movie was made on a 9 million dollar budget, given the fair amount of scene changing and the massive amount of gunfire and exploding things, but then again the actors were all mostly low-profile non-superstars, so I bet they probably saved a lot of money there. If you even kind of liked the first Purge, definitely check out this movie, and if you just like what you read here I think you'll probably enjoy this movie. That's all for today, join me again next week for who else but the Rock!