THE PURGE: ANARCHY Blu-ray Review
The first Purge posited a relatively clever science fiction plot: For twelve hours every year all crime is legal. To work within its low budget, it confined most of that activity to one house, and it was slightly better than expected, but it didn’t seem to capitalize on the premise as well as it could. But its sequel The Purge: Anarchy takes that idea to the place it should have started: On the street. Following five people who are caught in the middle of purge night by either choice or accident, it does a much better job of exploring the possibilities of what might happen if for one night a year, all crime was legal. Frank Grillo stars in the film, and my review of the film’s Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Where the initial film is lightly political, it seemed more about a Straw Dogs-siege type situation where it becomes about the paranoia and the violence, which it does just okay, and is why I find it inferior to the sequel. The first film became numbing after a certain point because it became about a group of teens against a family. Here the politics are put front and center, but also there’s a better group of people to follow and a heightened sense of danger. Written and helmed by the first film’s auteur James DeMonaco, the film is shot all over downtown Los Angeles, and the locations are used well.
Universal presents the film on Blu-ray with a DVD and digital copy. The film is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, and it’s a great surround track that heightens the jump scares, while the film (which was shot on digital video) looks good, though sometimes reveals the limitations of digital cinema. Extras consist of five deleted scenes (8 min.) that don’t add much (like more backstory on the dissolving marriage), and a making of (8 min.).