2017.18: The Purge: Anarchy (2014) – Film 4 HD
Back in the day, The Purge: Anarchy would have been a pretty fantastic John Carpenter movie. It feels like its Escape From New York 2, and screams for a Carpenter/Howarth score and Carpenter’s keen widescreen eye and gritty 70s-cool aesthetic. Indeed, its a pity they couldn’t have gotten him out of his semi-retirement to shoot this movie and maintain that 70s/80s vibe with a score and everything. What a movie that would have been.
As it is, The Purge: Anarchy is a pretty commendable effort and a big improvement on the original Purge movie. That film had the siege mentality of Assault on Precinct 13 but lacked in execution; but the central premise of one night in which anarchy reigns and all crime is deemed legal was sufficient enough a hook to enable the film to succeed. Buoyed by that films success this film clearly raises the bar in scope and channels Escape From New York with its ragtag, misfit bunch caught in the dead of night in a city full of murderers. Maybe the Carpenter influence isn’t really as intentional as it seems, but to me it’s inescapable, as both Purge films feel like Carpenter films at heart.
The trouble is, maybe these Purge films are being made a few decades too late? These days even b-movies are pretty slick efforts, and these films for me really should seem more basic, grungy, 1970s-gritty stuff- yeah, more like those Carpenter classics or Cannon films starring Charles Bronson. Instead they come across as crisp, mainstream exploitation movies, as cynical as that seems, and a mooted move to a tv series only reinforces that.