A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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"We don't save lives. Tonight we take lives. We can't have any interference. We can't have heroes."


~Big Daddy, "The Purge: Anarchy"

I don't do movie reviews. It's because I am not a moviegoer, and I am not a follower of the latest movies released either. I am not even the analyst-type of viewer who will dissect each and every part of a movie. I just watch, for the sake of watching. The first time I wrote something in this blog about a film that I have seen was when I saw Big Hero 6 and how it caught my attention because of the "power of hugs".

So, I saw this film The Purge: Anarchy, which was released last year (told you not a follower of new movies). It's a sequel to the first installment, titled The Purge (this one I've seen). Both movies revolve around an annual, government-approved ceremony of purging. Purging or purge, according to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, in general, means "to get rid of, to remove, to eliminate".

The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy has two different takes on the purging, though; as the former focuses on the use of purging as a method of "cleansing one's self" by discharging their anger, envy, jealousy and any form of bad emotions towards the person they feel such emotions for; while on the latter, purging emphasizes the use of purging to eliminate the unwanted sector of America (the non-elites) to control the country's population, crime rate and post a strong national economy. Let's focus on the sequel, shall we?

Every movie starts with introducing either the setting of the story or the major characters, so with this one, I got to see three groups of characters: waitress Eva and daughter Cali, couple Shane and Liz, and Sergeant Leo, a purge participant. Let me cut to the chase: These people crossed each other's path with the mom and daughter tandem being rescued by the Seargent from purgers and the couple (Shane and Liz) trying to look for somewhere to hide (found the unlocked car of the Seargent and hid themselves in there) as the 12-hour purging has already commenced. So they are all stuck together out in the streets, trying to avoid the purgers and save themselves until the purging ends at 7am. The first half of the film revolves around finding a safe place where purgers cannot touch them. The characters, fortunately, did so, not until the people in the home they stayed at tried to kill each other because of the influence of the purging.

I loved and hated this movie for various reasons. Let me enumerate:

LOVED: I am rooting for the lead guy, Sergeant, who among the 5 characters have displayed definite strength and bravery of facing purging situations. Maybe the courage comes off from his own agenda of avenging his killed son, add to that that he is an LAPD police officer.

LOVED: The movie lived up to show what purging is. The violence is there, the feel of the movie setting being haunted by killers who have the right to do so during the night until the next morning was not dull.

LOVED: Compared to the first installment of the movie franchise, this film gave importance to why the New Founding Fathers (initiators of the annual purge) continue the purging every year. The film showed how elites can manipulate and even buy one's life to be able to successfully do a purging.

HATED: The acting of each character was convincing, but what gets to my nerves is that each character was a weakling (except for Sergeant Leo) and do not have any guts to kill to save their bums out of the purging or face any form of violence, and stupid enough to make an attitude amidst a very complicated situation.

I was very much pulled (in a negative way) by the character named Cali, whose attitude I can't stand during the whole movie. I do understand the curiosity about why the taciturn Sergeant saved them, but pestering a man who is busy thinking how y'all can get out of the hell called the purge with questions which she can reserve once they are all safe is plain stupidity. The girl can be considered courageous for trying to "soften up" or even get something out of the ever-serious police officer, but her courage did not show up in times when it was needed the most, that is when they are being faced by the adversity of purgers. Plus, the girl can't shed a drop of tear in necessary scenes. Sorry.

HATED: The movie progressed with the four minor characters not developing the guts to hold a gun and assist the Sergeant in targeting purgers. Thus, the four weaklings became a burden to Leo despite holding guns to protect themselves. I must give credit to Shane and Liz for trying to make an effort, though but that does not help much as I can only remember Leo shooting most of the time.

HATED: I do understand that movies revolve around conflicts and that is very much significant in a movie. Without it, there will be no story nor progress in it. It just annoyed me that the other four characters were almost useless cowards who did not grow any muscles to fight for their survival until the purge ends, were very much dependent on Leo yet they tend to question his purpose of saving them, for participating in the purge to avenge his own kid son and to try to refuse to follow him. Isn't it better to just STFU and follow the leader on his every word so everybody can avoid being killed since he is the only one who happens to know how to calm down and think clearly of solutions, leads the pack and fights against the purgers?

The Purge: Anarchy is a movie that is worth watching, though. I give it two thumbs up for sending thrills and successfully delivering suspense in most scenes. But I believe that they could have done more when it came to the story and squeezed in some scenes that would be crucial in understanding the annual purge. I heard that there are plans to come out with a new The Purge movie anytime next year. Are you ready?

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