How do you start a review for a sequel?
Simple you start from the beginning and lets take a trip back to last year when the first film came out. The Purge was movie that was given mix reviews as no one really had to take while others understood its story. The fact that our government changed to a group known as the Founding Fathers of America and instituted this new holiday that gave the citizens the chance for one night only for 12 hours every year to kill anyone they wanted without any consequences. This holiday became known as the Purge, the holiday helped keep crime and unemployment to an all time low. But this night acts as a way for those who wanted to blow off steam and looked for the thrill of killing as the homeless became a main target of the people who purged. The Purge comes off like a population control act this way.
Now the first film gave us the simple fear of what's outside your door when you enclose yourself with a security system. But when a simple act of compassion turns a child's family life into a living hell when he decides to help someone. The fear of not knowing what could outside the door becomes a known factor when it comes knocking looking for what its after. Now the first film is a claustrophobic feeling kind of film as it only takes place inside the house and never leaves it. So the concept of the sequel gives us the viewer an in-depth image of what really goes on when it comes to being in the midst of it all.
Now the sequel takes place the following year 2023, the people are credited for keeping crime, poverty and homelessness to an all time low but the fact that this night was the night of the Purge the people arm themselves and prepare for their time honored traditions as they look to kill whomever they want. We are introduced to three separate set of stories that would all collide together during the course of this night as we first meet a waitress whose slaving for minimum wage to help provide for her father and daughter, a young couple troubled by a life decision they are making during this night and have trouble expressing their feelings towards one another and then we are introduced to a man whose life has crumbled before his eyes as he looks to use this night as a way to exact revenge for a wrong that happened to him and ruined his life and family in his eyes. Now at first their lives are not any near one another till the sirens sound and the purge begins.
The fact that this film expanded from outside the originals house only concept and gave us the feeling of this is what's going on outside the walls. You clearly see it all the savagery of what people become when this night happens. How normal people turn into blood crazed and cold blooded killers. But its clear that like the first one the homeless are the focus and target of the people as a way to keep the population at a norm. This is one of two familiar things from the first film, the second is the returning of character from the first Purge, that being Edwin Hodge who reprises his role of Dwayne the person who was being pursued to be purged by a group of young people who clearly want to kill him cause he's a stain on the human race by being a homeless person.
I personally liked this one a little bit more than the first film cause the story wasn't confined to the house and having to play the cat and mouse game in the dark. The first film to me felt like it was your typical horror-thriller that's been done over and over again and you kind of figure out the stories ending midway through the film and become unsatisfied cause you already knew what was going to happen. This one gave me the feeling of if I become attached to any of the 5 characters that were trying to survive this film and they were killed I would pissed off cause I invested the entire film in hopes that at least all survive this tragic night. I would have to say the reason I liked this one better is because it felt like I was watching a down and dirty grindhouse film. Your lead actor is not a real huge name in Hollywood. Sorry it took this long to mention his name but the main male character is played by Frank Grillo. Grillo is commonly seen playing the same kind of character being a down and dirty bad ass motherfucker. We saw that earlier this year when he starred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when he played the character Brock Rumlow who later goes onto becoming the masked assassin in the Marvel U known as Crossbones. Grillo plays the broken father whose using this night as a way to exact revenge but takes compassion when he witnesses and intervenes on preventing the death of the other 4 characters in the film. Grillo isn't more a hero as he refuses to be acknowledged as one leaving us the viewer to see him as the anti-hero.
So in my closing this film should be seen not cause its a sequel but because if it was to stand on its own and be a separate film than it would clearly be standing tall. I believe its an definite improvement from the first film and its clear they could do more than one more sequel for this franchise but one has to think when would enough be enough? So if this is the only sequel that the Purge franchise gets than at least it ends on a better note than what the first one did even if this one has made less money than the first. So do yourself a favor and if your bored off your ass tonight than get your ass out of the house and go see this before it disappears for 4-5 months before its blu ray release happens. Be the first friend to say you know what that movie was good, you didn't see it? Oh than you missed out on that one cause it was completely badass!!!!!!!!