Saturday, July 9, 2016

I'm fine, I'm fine. Just keep shooting.

What the f--k, America?

The rules are pretty simple, right? Like, don't get it wet or feed it after midnight simple. Outside of dropping nukes and shit, you get to do whatever the f--k you want, to whomever the f--k you want for twelve hours a year.

Not twelve months. 

As I frantically stumble around to see all the part twos and threes the summer movie season inevitably shits and pisses upon us (sometimes at the same time), I managed to take the time to catch The Purge: Anarchy on demand. Even if I wasn't all that thrilled with the original [review], the series' premise is simply too compelling. The idea of twelve hours of government-sanctioned lawlessness, however logistically impossible, is (and likely always will be) horror movie gold.

Set a year after Ethan Hawke defended his family from the only graduating class of Trump University, Anarchy takes us away from suburbia and out onto the mean streets of Los Angeles. Sure, no one in their right mind would be in downtown L.A. on the night of the Purge. But, according to movies, no one in downtown L.A. is ever in their right mind.

A mysterious badass known only as Sergeant (Frank Grillo, rightfully stuck on intense) has hit the streets during the Purge in his armored-up car with a score to settle. Eva and Cali, a mother and daughter team who had originally planned to stay home and not be killed, were forced out of their apartment when a drunken neighbor decided he wanted to um, Purge both of the ladies, starting with the oddly coveted Eva. Some major shit goes down, and the ladies are taken hostage...until Sergeant sees what's going on, and regrettably for his evening plan, decides to intervene. Also along for the ride are Liz and Shane, a bickering young couple totally bent over a barrel because their shitty car broke down moments before all Hell is officially allowed to break loose.

And there, dear friend, is the problem with the second Purge film. While it's very nice to be out in the thick of it with some people we care about (as opposed to being trapped inside with people we don't), like you would expect, most everybody else stayed inside. The streets, while absolutely f--king lawless, are basically...empty. The only people out are doing shit we barely get to see. That's not to say I want to see ninety minutes of senseless killings (I watch CNN for that), but a little more (totally fake) chaos would have been appreciated.

So, here we go again, another hour and a half with this totally rad premise, ending in less than totally rad results. Anarchy is an improvement over the tiny confines of the first one, no doubt, and the lore continues to grow and become slightly more interesting. I didn't love this one by any stretch, but I liked it enough to see the next installment....potentially in the theater (we all know that ain't saying much). And even if that one sucks ass, I'll still probably be up for the fourth one, just hoping they finally get it right.

Speaking of, here is the five hundredth (ish) installment of the Yays and Boos.

I'm pretty sure this in is my grandmother's attic.
Though, apparently, her rug made out of old socks
didn't survive last year's Purge (thank God).

  • Hahaha...that family putting up plywood together. C'mon, guys, really? Was Home Depot sold out of wishes and dreams?
  • One of the New Founding Father's (uh, the rich white guys running shit) is named Donald Talbot. For a movie released two years ago...oddly prophetic, no?
  • Those awful sirens. I love them so much.
  • It's rare that I cheer for absolutely nothing happening on screen, but I dug that shot of L.A. from above showcasing how quiet downtown is when the Purge begins.
  • Sergeant ultimately saves Eva and Cali, right? But not after he thought about it a lot. The fact that he almost said f--k it ten times is a Yay. The fact that he had that much time to consider it? Not so much (seriously, this is the longest struggle ever).
  • Street traps? Really? Like, I gotta watch out for every motherf--ker in the United States and now you're telling me there's basically bear traps hidden all over the city? That's f--king terrible. And f--king fantastic.
  • Eventually, our fearsome fivesome gets off the streets and into a friend's apartment where they can relax and take a break from not worrying about being killed at any moment. Well, in theory anyway.
  • Carmelo Jones is this radical dude, taking over the airwaves and speaking to and for the underprivileged masses. While I'm not 100% on his squad's...uh, timing, I fully support any individual who looks like a militarized Humpty. You don't know Humpty? He's the one who said just grab 'em in the biscuits.
  • Sergeant calls the ROWB (rich old white bitch) a piece of shit. She is, sure, but to just straight up call her that to her face? Mah-velous, darling. 
  • And finally, the ending. All bullshit aside, I got kind of emotional at the (near) end of this film. I know, that ol' m.brown the handsome softee with the huge muscles and the heart of gold thing, for like, the thousandth time...but, really. Sergeant's quest? That shit was deeply personal. And how it all played out? Damn.


  • What the f--k, Scary Skateboard Guy? You can't be scaring bitches before the Purge. That's like listening to the band your about to see in concert on the way to the stadium.
  • Eva's Dad is tired of all this shit. Though can you blame him? Dude's been carrying around all that necessary plot information all f--king day.
  • Let's just say Mrs. Two Dollar Cinema has never been too thrilled when car trouble has ruined our plans. I can only imagine how mad she would have been had later on that evening we'd been all set to not be shot in the f--king face and our car broke down...ruining everything!
  • Blowtorches! Chain guns! Guys with vicious attack dogs! Sniper rifles! All of this was cool...until it wasn't.
  • Hey, quick! Let's hide in this dumpster! Aw, this one's full of hobos! Guess we shouldn't check the other 9,000 dumpsters, huh?
  • Speaking, I know this would make for a bad movie...but, uh, anybody ever thought about hiding? Just a thought. I know Los Angeles probably only has like, two or three places to hide (truly, there is no such thing as a dark alley in L.A.)...but still.
  • Rich People. Not only are they, you know, better than us, but in the near future even their Purge is better than ours. Me and you? We have to risk our necks to kill randos in the street. These f--kers? They get to hunt hand-picked jerk-offs in a controlled environment. Thank God this is fiction....right? Right? Rich people don't get to casually kill normally docile creatures for fun in real life, do they? *dies inside*
  • What was that Big Lady on the roof shouting about? Damn, girl. We hear you.
  • Ugh. Poor stockbroker guy. He didn't deserve that - wait. We hate those guys, right? Good for him, then. I'm sorry. Sometimes I lose track of all the people I'm supposed to arbitrarily hate. Usually I just keep it simple, you know, and stick with anyone taller than I am.
  • I'm pretty sure that human tension releases some sort of rat pheromone or something. Why else would these f--kers always show up at the worst possible time? My kids also have this quality about them...hmm.
  • And finally, imagine the poor bastards working at the hospital when the Purge finally ends? I bet it's like working at an (extra shitty) Wal-Mart on Black Friday. On second thought, they're not like each other at all. The Purge has rules
Toward the end of this past school year, one of my students asked me, is the Purge real? After telling the rest of the class to stop making fun of her, we had a brief discussion as to why such an event couldn't possibly exist. I asked them a bunch of stupid questions to poke holes in their steadfast belief that it could indeed happen. 

What if you die from your attack after the Purge, is that a crime? What about time zones? What if you're in a plane that flies over the United States, do all the passengers go crazy? What if you're wife's pregnant and needs to go the hospital, are there no doctors working? What if the person doesn't die, can they sue you? What if you rob the place you work at, can they fire you the next day? I went on and on, until finally, they all agreed that it was impossible. Then someone said...

Well, what if Donald Trump gets elected? 


  1. Gremlins reference! I haven't seen any of the Purge movies, though this one looked a bit more interesting than the ones that came prior. I love that your class actually had a discussion on this. That's amazing.

    1. I had this short class after lunch that only had seven kids in it, and usually we'd watch the news and do some writing about current events. If there was a split-second of riots or chaos from anywhere in the world, someone would always say...'whoa, looks like the Purge'. This was a day I finally took the bait.

      I wasn't a big Saw fan (bailed after the second one), but if this is the annual horror franchise we're saddled with, I'm actually okay with it, you know?

  2. The last sentence in your review articulates the THING that's been keeping me up at night. My son, who will turn 18 this year, already has his exit plan in place. I guess I'd better buy him some warm clothes for Canada. :-/

    1. My students have a very narrow view of the world, but that kid's comment floored me. While it's easy to say that something like this is purely (bad) fiction, I would have told you the same thing about 'Presidential-nominee Donald Trump' not long ago.

      Canada might not be far enough away if we keep this shit up...

  3. References to Gremlins, Digital Underground, and the craziness of Walmart all in one review? Nice.

    Thought the first one was 'meh', but I really dug this one. It had lots of the things the first was missing by (mostly) confining us to a single house. I just had a blast watching it from a fun standpoint. Regarding the premise, I agree with you. The movie doesn't quite do it justice. However, it's so great I don't know that any movie really could do it justice. Each successive movie could only hope to chip away at it a bit more and maybe a series of films taken together could fulfill the potential. But that's asking a lot, especially since it's tough to keep making quality movies in any franchise.

    That last line of your review? Scary, scary thought.

    1. Gremlins and Humpty are two of my favorite things, so I have to drop them in whenever I can (or just force them in haphazardly). But Wal-Mart? Not really a fan of that place. At least...not around these parts. I keep breaking the dress code by not wearing pajamas.

      Totally agree about the franchise. From a horror/action standpoint, it's hard to get a better setup. But delivering on it is an entirely different story. Maybe these flicks will end up like the Fast and the Furious movies...and get oddly legit late in the game. Long shot...sure, but who would have thought HELEN MIRREN would be in Fast 8?!??

      Absolutely terrifying...

  4. With the events of this past week...I don't think I can with this movie. Like...your whole opening paragraph sums up my feelings well on the subject. My heart is broken right now.

    This Trump mess is beyond my level of understanding. HOW he became the favorite, with all the s*** that spills from his mouth...I can't with anyone who thinks that man is a good idea.

    Ef this place if he takes over.

    1. Hey, man. I dialed this one up long before the chaos that unfolded in my almost hometown of Dallas (born in Irving), so I feel you on that front. Luckily this one doesn't really walk the line of plausibility all that closely, so it's easy to kick back and disconnect, you know? Well, it was for me...but I'm kind of a moron.

      Man...I got two brothers riding the Trump train. Like, two people I know and love. F--king insanity, I tell you. In. Sane.