The Purge: Anarchy is a movie that I wasn’t initially very interested in, let alone excited about. The first Purge produced a tepid reaction, the sequel was originally slated to appear almost exactly one year after the first without being previously green lit and felt rushed, and the generically ominous name didn’t do anything to sweeten the deal. But a funny thing happened, as we’ve crept closer and closer—and the release date got pushed back a little bit—this has become a movie that I’m actively looking forward to, and this new behind-the-scenes look, and two new clips, only serve to heighten that anticipation.
Anarchy doesn’t look like high art, not at all, but over time it has come to resemble those grim, hard-boiled revenge thrillers from the late 1970s and early 80s, which is a subgenre I hold near and dear to my heart. You don’t get that kind of low-budget, vengeance fueled action in theaters all that often anymore—these days this sort of film usually goes direct to video—and when you throw in a dystopian twist, you have my attention.
The basic conceit of the film is essentially the same: in the near future, crime has gotten way out of hand, and in order to combat this, the government takes drastic measures, like legalizing all crime for one night a year. Apparently this works because the crime rate drops to next to nothing. While The Purge focused on a single well-to-do family in the ‘burbs, Anarchy shows us how the proverbial other half lives.
This time around, the narrative shows the action in the form of three different stories. One thread follows a couple, Liz (Kiele Sanchez) and Shane (Zach Gilford), on their way out of town, stranded when their car breaks down. Two inner city women, Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (Zoe Soul), come into harms way because they can’t afford to protect themselves like the rich folks. Story number three involves Leo (Frank Grillo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), on a quest for Purge-sanctified revenge for what appears to be the murder of his child.
This first clip shows you exactly what kind of trouble you can find yourself in, even when you keep to yourself and try to mind you own business. Some random hoods with assault weapons, decked out in tactical gear, might bust into your home and drag you away to see you to some rich people who want to pay money to hunt you or get up to some other nasty business.
Eventually, as you probably guessed, these three stories come together and become one. Though, as you can see, there is some reluctance, especially on Leo’s part, he’s a man on a mission after all, while the others want nothing more than to make it through the night alive.
The Purge: Anarchy opens everywhere on July 18.