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The Purge: Anarchy Review

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In a future America, all crime is legal for one night only. Four people are caught on the streets during the Purge and hook up with the Sergeant (Frank Grillo), who tries to protect them even as he is off on his own Purge mission.

★★★★★

This second instalment in the burgeoning dystopian Purge franchise cannily doesn’t repeat the home invasion set-up of the first and takes advantage of a cityscape to play more like The Warriors as a small group of ill-matched innocents try to get through an all-bets-are-off night while avoiding random psychos, rich sickos and an organised mystery kill squad. Writer-director James DeMonaco sketches in character business but handles the bursts of action with B-picture verve, does well by uneasy moments which build up to legal slaughter and delivers surprisingly pointed take-downs of the American ruling class amid all the cartoony action movie licks.

This series combines smarts and shocks in a disarming manner. From small beginnings, it could be a lasting franchise – this entry is a satisfying, hardboiled genre picture.

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