The Purge and Anarchy are tricky ones. If only Anarchy had merged with the first flim, and have Ethan Hawke's character, James Sandin's son killed in The Purge, so that by the time Anarchy came around, Sandin would venture out during the 12 hours of chaos and avenge his son. Makes more sense to me... Had The Purge not flopped like a wet noodle and situated itself on the shelf next to Wrong Turn and The Raid, Ethan Hawke may have been persuaded to revive his character from the dead.
Throughout the film we follow mother and daughter, Eva and Cali, who will take all precautions to avoid The Purge. We're also caught up in the young and deteriorating relationship of Shane and Liz, who are unexpectedly caught in the cross-hairs of every man, woman and child with a grudge. Lastly, we are introduced to Sergeant, an estranged loner preparing to avenge the death of his son...A perfect story line for James Sandin to continue....
All the characters eventually come together and try to survive the night as one. With Sergeants fearless combat, the young couples realization that love is still alive when you're about to cushion a bullet with your eyeball, and the promise that Eva's friend will supply Sergeant with a car to get to the killer of his son...they manage to creep around the streets of downtown LA trying not to laugh at the"Purgists" in Mickey Mouse masks.
My attention was definitely held throughout the duration, not difficult with the sound of gunshot, chainsaws and motorbikes revving every time your eyes close, but it was hard to invest in the characters as you slowly realize that everyone is as bad as each other when the right buttons are pushed. Had the cast been more well known, and the story more intriguing than government and economical figures kidnapping innocent people so they can hunt them down in an artificial jungle for pleasure...then the film could have soared more than a pigeon with one wing and one leg.
I was disappointed in the first film as I wanted the Anarchy story, and I was unsatisfied with Anarchy because I wanted The Purge characters. Maybe in The Purge: Apocalypse they can bring the team back as zombies and have Rick Grimes slap some sense into them.