The Purge is one of those movie gems that could go on forever and always have a fresh story because the event that takes place in the movie is annual. Unfortunately the second movie in the possible franchise has put the flame out of the torch that could have burned for a very long time. The trailer gives you 75% of the story and the important (that aren't important at all) parts of the film. When the first film came out, I fell in love the everything about this film and what sequels would do with it. My answer - Nothing.
The first Purge introduced us to the annual event and made us ponder what would happen if this could actually happen. The second starts with what could have been a very suspenseful event when a vehicle breaks down moments before the purge is happening while they are on their way home. When you start to breathe heavily with them the movie cuts to a mother and daughter preparing for the purge. Before you learn anything about them there is a cut to a lone man clearly looking for vengeance, for some reason unknown. Three stories here that did not give us enough time with them to connect enough to get us to care what happens with them on this night. The three stories come together on a random street and the lone man has to protect everyone and he does his job. Enter the villains - The main villains are attempting to kidnap as many people as possible and another is hanging out in a semi with a machine gun. The upper class is kidnapping the lower class and hunting them to get their own personal purge on. Hunger Games meets The Most Dangerous Game and its a horrible scene in the movie.
The Purge: Anarchy focuses everything on the night itself and society. The characters do not really matter as they are a small group of the whole collective of lower class citizens that the upper class is trying to get rid of. I do not know if this film is trying to be satirical toward our society or if it was attempting a fresh story for the annual event. The movie that could go on forever introduces a Malcom X style character that is trying to get rid of the purge and when the movie ends, you are left not knowing if he has accomplished anything. The lone man has his moment of glory and the film does nothing with it. There is no problem with any of the actors or actresses in this film. They were doing the best with what they were given.
I was extremely disappointed with this because I had bought into the first one so much. I did not care that the annual purge was happening, I did not connect enough with the characters to care what happens to them, the movie didn't explain the disconnect between upper and lower class and really did not relate it to real life, and even if I pushed and tried to care, the film did not have enough passion to care to pull me in. The third Purge film, if there will be one, is going to have to work hard to build from this or pull a Halloween 3 and pretend it never existed. I can pretend that it did not happen.
The matinee of a thriller is a great way to focus completely on the film. People prefer to go to a thriller when it is dark or for a date - this thriller is not even worthy of a date to have someone to hold on to. I did not enjoy this film, but I paid complete attention to it to let it try to connect with me. Don't disturb others if you do not like something - try - and just be alone in the theater.