Movie Review: 'The Purge: Anarchy,' Starring Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford

PHOTO: This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from "The Purge: Anarchy."

Starring Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez and Frank Grillo

Rated R

One out of five stars

"The Purge" was one of the 2013’s big box office success stories. It cost $3 million to make and went on to gross approximately $90 million.

The plot was just a bit heavy-handed: In the not-so-distant future, a new U.S. government regime has solved most of America’s social ills by establishing the purge. One designated night a year, every act of violence you can think of is legal, including murder. As a result, crime is down, employment is up, and the population is under control. The purge allows citizens to cleanse their souls through violence. But if you don’t want to participate, you’d better make sure you’re somewhere safe, because no home is off limits and no person is safe when the purge takes place.

"The Purge: Anarchy," once again takes us into the streets on the night of the purge. This time, Sergeant (Frank Grillo) has no intention of staying home and protecting himself from murderers. Instead, he plans on exacting revenge on the drunk driver who killed his son.

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It’s a different story for Eva Sanchez (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter, Cali (Zoe Soul). They live in the projects and, for some reason, feel relatively safe in their boarded-up apartment. Then there’s Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), who are on their way to Shane’s sister’s house to deliver important news about their relationship.

Naturally, Shane and Liz’s car breaks down about an hour before the purge is set to start, and they wind up being chased by masked thugs on motorcycles.

As for Eva and Cali, their building falls under attack by a small army, and they’re about to get shot in the middle of the street.

Good thing for all of them that Sergeant happens by. I’ll spare you the details, but against his better judgment he saves them all. Problem is, if he leaves them on the street, he knows they will surely die. But if he takes them with him, his very personal mission will likely be compromised.

"The Purge: Anarchy" has more heart than its predecessor -- and when I say more heart, I mean it has more people getting shot and stabbed in the heart. And stomach. And head, and arm, and leg. ... Well, you get the picture. The attempt to disguise this gratuitous bloodbath as social commentary on class warfare would be insulting if it wasn’t so unintentionally comical.

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