The Purge: Anarchy is the second of what likely will be a Purge series. It's 2023 and crime in the U.S. is at an all-time low, because once a year for a night, you are allowed to kill, murder, rape, burn, pillage and basically do whatever you want. Then it's over.
Survive the purge and life goes on like normal until the next year.
There are some rules. High government officials, those the people now call the founding fathers and their high-level bureaucrats, can't be harmed or killed. The ultra rich have the advantages because they can afford high-tech security. The poor cannot, and the poor killing the poor.
This is where creator, writer and director James DeMonaco takes his premise on an interesting but unsurprising twist. Many of the rich and those in government send people out to gather victims for parties where armed rich kill with glee.
A new revolutionary force is introduced, one violently opposed to the purge and the government and wanting to put an end to the practice.
DeMonaco's new characters are led by Frank Grillo, one of the villains of Captain America: The Winter Soldier's.
They're all stuck outside on purge night. Grillo's Sergeant is on his way to seek revenge for the death of his son but stops to save two ladies. That connects him with two others, and suddenly he's derailed from his goal and responsible for saving them from death.
He's not bad and neither are his co-stars.
The Purge: Anarchy is light years better than last year's. Better is a relative term and doesn't mean it's all that good. That said, if this genre of drivel is your thing, you'll find The Purge: Anarchy to be a serious upgrade and not all that bad.
The rest of us have better things to do.
Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Soul
Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars
Rated R for violence, gore and language. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.
-- Also opening this week is Sex Tape. It screened too late for this week's column, but you can catch his review at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.