For those who saw “The Purge” last year and felt the film had plenty of potential but failed in execution: “The Purge: Anarchy” is for you. The sequel fulfills everything the first one did not, giving viewers a deeper look at how “The Purge” is more about money and less about cleansing souls. Not to mention, audiences got to meet one of the most badass onscreen heroes since Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis.
The movie kicks off with a whole new cast. The main stories revolve around Eva, her daughter Cali and her father Pop, as well as Shane and his estranged wife Liz. Then, of course, there’s the hero of the film, whose name isn’t revealed until the final moments: Sergeant.
Here’s a quick introduction to the characters:
Cali and Eva Sanchez:
Eva Sanchez tries to get a raise from her boss before “The Purge,” which doesn’t seem like something a person would ask on such an anxiety-ridden day. When she returns home, she tells her daughter she did not get the raise. She’s happy to be able to buy her father his medicine, but he snaps and tries to refuse to take it until his granddaughter coaxes him into taking the pills. He lets the girls know he’s going to sleep through “The Purge,” because he hates it, and not to bother him. Papa Rico goes to sleep and the Sanchez women lock up.
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Shane and Liz:
Right from the beginning there’s some tension between Shane and Liz. They head toward the supermarket for a final trip before “The Purge.” They begin to argue as they enter a car when the first startle of the movie happens: A man with his face painted slams his hand down on the car. They quickly get in the vehicle and realize they are cutting it pretty close to commencement time. Shane promises everything will be a fine, a major no-no in horror films. You never want to say everything it going to be OK.
They begin to bicker again, and the audience finds out the couple’s secret: They’re separating. But before they can divulge further information about their strained relationship, they discover something's wrong with Shane’s car. They step out, and Shane hears fluid leaking -- someone disabled the power steering. Soon after, a gang of men shows up. It’s not commencement time just yet, and even though Liz is in heels, they decide to run.
Until Sergeant appears, none of the characters wanted to purge. He has a room with blank walls, except for pictures of a man who appears to be his target. A woman who appears to be his ex-wife comes to room and begs him to stay safe, not to purge, but Sergeant is on a mission. He does not tell the woman to stay safe, just to go back to her family and children.
Cali and Eva discover Papa Rico is missing. In a letter, he said he sold himself for $100,000 to a rich family so they could kill him. He said he was dying anyway, and now at least they would have some money. Soon after, the women notice armed men are attacking their apartment building. Coincidentally, a man who knows Eva from the complex breaks in and tries to kill her first because she wasn’t interested in him, but the armed men kill him and then drag the women outside.
That’s also when Sergeant happens by. He sees them fighting with the armed men and tells himself to turn around, but instead he opens fire on the would-be kidnappers.
Liz and Shane make it to Sergeant’s armed car and sneak into the back seat, thinking it will be safe.
Sergeant is able to kill most of the armed men and free Cali and Eva, but the man who opened fire from the back of a truck still appears to be alive. They make it back to the car, which is chaotic since there are now two more stragglers in the car, but before the Sergeant has time to decide what to do with them, more armed men arrive in 18-wheelers begin to shoot.
They’re able to get away in Sergeant's car, but the 18-wheeler’s bullets pierced it. The four don’t have any weapons and beg Sergeant for protection. Eva says her friend is nearby and asks he help them get there. She even promises him a car. Sergeant agrees to the deal and succeeds in getting them to Eva’s friend’s house. But they're mpt safe for very long.
Eva admits to the Sergeant she lied, there is no car. Chaos erupts when Eva's friend Tanya is shot by her sister after she accuses Tanya of sleeping with her husband.
The four of them, along with the Sergeant rush out of the apartment, but they notice there are more armed men trying to find them. Even though they are able to escape, they are captured by the men in masks and face paint who tell them they won't be killed but are going to be sold to rich people.
The five are auctioned off at a gala and then placed in an arena, “Hunger Games”-style. As the four hide, Sergeant is able to take down some of the armed rich people and turn the tables. As he begins to hunt them, the remaining two leave the arena. They feel victorious, for a moment, until dozens of armed men invade the front of the arena. Someone opens up a backdoor and shoots Shane in the chest.
Activists against the New Founding Fathers of America come in to save the day. Cali remembers their YouTube videos. Liz wants to stay and fight with them, to purge, while Cali and Eva leave with Sergeant.
Sergeant finally gets a car from the rich hostess of the evening after putting a gun to her head and telling her to run. They drive to a suburban house, and the Sergeant finally tells the women the reason he needs to purge: He is there to kill the man who killed his son a year ago in a drunk driving accident.
He enters the home and becomes manic when he sees the man sleeping in bed with his wife. It appears he has killed the man responsible for his son’s death when he walks out the front door but he isn’t victorious for long. Sergeant is shot by the man from the beginning of the movie who was trying to kidnap Cali and Eva.
When the man walks up to greet Sergeant, it’s the first time the audience learns his name. The man tells Sergeant there are no heroes in the purge; it defeats the purpose. Just as the assailant is about to unleash his final blow, the man who killed Sergeant's son shoots the attacker in the head.
At this point, 2023’s purge is over. Eva yells at the man who killed Sergeant’s son to get a car and drive him to the hospital. The man does so, allowing Eva to keep her promise.
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