Tag Archives: Action

Daredevil: Series Review

My apologies in advance as this is one of my longer blogs.

On Friday April 10th, the long awaited Marvel series, Daredevil, was exclusively released on Netflix. As with other Netflix original series such as Orange is the New Black, the online cinema mogul released all episodes of the first season simultaneously meaning viewers could binge watch all 13 episodes in one go. By Saturday April 11, 2015, I had finished the entire first season. And I already wish there was a second season to finish binge watching by April 12.

For those not in the know, the Daredevil series is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), meaning that it exists in the same fictional story universe as the Captain America, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Avengers franchises, and the network television shows Agents of Shield and Agent Carter.

Daredevil Dares to be Different

Despite being in the same fictional universe, Daredevil varies wildly both in tone and approach from the other Marvel franchises – most of all its’ TV siblings. Whereas Agents of Shield is very campy and at times even childish, Daredevil strikes a much more serious tone. Netflix original series don’t have FCC ratings, but if they did Daredevil would be inches shy of an R rating. Some of the bloody beat downs Daredevil lays on his enemies approaches a level of gratuitous violence usually reserved for villains.

Daredevil series is no stranger to bloody violence.

 

Agents of Shield makes regular – if not too many – references to the other series, or characters in the MCU. Daredevil on the other hand made very, very few. People dorkier than I may have caught some that I missed, but I only counted two Easter eggs in total. There were several mentions of the ‘attack on New York’ from 2012’s Avengers. The other was a comment about “an iron suit or a magic hammer”, alluding to Iron Man and Thor, though no names are ever used directly.

Daredevil is a dark show, but it steps out of Marvel’s shadow.

Plot and Setting

True to Marvel form – with the exception of Agent Carter – Daredevil take’s place in the chronological order in which it was released. It takes place in Marvel Phase 2, after Avengers and Winter Soldier, but before Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The show focuses on Matthew Murdock, an attorney turned vigilante who fights crime on his home turf of Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Few references are made to other Marvel characters but the jury is still out as to whether Captain America or Spiderman will ever cameo in the show, given that all three masked heroes hail from the city that never sleeps.

This isn’t just New York with it’s lights and skyscrapers. This show welcomes you to Hell’s Kitchen, an unforgiving and downtrodden part of the city where street thugs are the least of your problem. Corrupt cops, dirty politicians, and crime lords reign supreme. The city is dark, dirty, and gritty.

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the leading characters of the show.

 

The antagonist of the first season is one of Daredevil and Spidey’s arch nemesis – Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin played by Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket). Though not as physically intimidating as Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 feature film of the same name, D’Onofrio plays a frightening, cunning, brutal and resolute version Kingpin that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and dominates every scene he’s in. Oh, but he can still throw down and is not someone you’d want to meddle with in an alley.

Cast and Characters

The show focuses as much on Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox) as it does on the Daredevil, which makes for some very interesting story telling and character development. What’s most interesting about the show is Murdock’s history. He has a back story that make’s Bruce Wayne’s sound almost pleasant by comparison.

As a child, Matt’s mom left him and his dad as they scraped to get by. His dad was a professional boxer – but not a very good one – and would come home bloodied and beaten on a regular basis, to which young Matt had to stich him up. Matt was later blinded in an accident which left him traumatized as he struggled with walking, reading, and adjusting to everyday life. Shortly thereafter his father was murdered after a fixed boxing match went south. Now Matt was not only an orphan, but a poor blind orphan living in the government system.

The fight that would indirectly take the life of Matt Murdock’s father.

 

There was no trust fund, no Alfred, no Wayne Manor, no multinational corporation to fall back on. Matt Murdock had nothing but his will and his wit – and pulled himself from the gutter with amazing tenacity.

As awe inspiring as his story may be, you forget just how fear inspiring Murdock can be when donning his mask. He’s no chump. He’s quiet, watchful, brooding, and very dangerous. The show does a fantastic job of making Matt look like a normal (albeit blind) guy in the day, while surrounding him with an air of mystique and dread at night.

Foggy Nelson and Karen Paige.

 

Murdock has the benefit of some strong supporting characters Karen Page played by Deborah Ann Woll (Trueblood) and best friend Foggy Nelson played by Elden Henson (Butterfly Effect). Woll and Henson offer amazing performances making their characters that much more interesting, and the story that much more believable. Thank the heavens Hollywood has taken us out of the age of the useless sidekick. Karen and Foggy are loyal friends, and although they aren’t MMA fighters, they should not be easily dismissed.

Rosario Dawson does a great job playing Claire Temple, also known as the Night Nurse in the comics. Unfortunately, she was relegated to just 2 episodes out of the entire 13 episode season. I hope to see more of her in Season 2, or in the other Marvel Netflix series coming out soon.

Claire Temple / Night Nurse patching up Daredevil after a bout in the concrete jungle.

 

Overview

There is a ton of action and violence, but it does a good job at not crossing the line into cheesy. The characters are very real, and very vulnerable both emotionally and physically. On many occasions Murdock gets himself into a situation where this time feels like it’s going to be the last time. He might crawl his way out of a tough spot, but the show makes sure that he has to claw and scratch for every inch. There is no cavalry, no backup, no lucky breaks. Nothing comes easy, which makes the show that much more suspenseful and dramatic.

No easy day for Daredevil.

 

The settings are real. The acting and character portrayal is believable. The drama is relatable. The action is grounded. The show doesn’t gloss over any detail, grand or minute. Most importantly the show is honest.

My Take

15 minutes into the pilot episode I knew this show was right up my Hell’s Kitchen alley. I thought it would be good, but I didn’t think it would be this good. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know that when it comes to my taste, the grittier the better.

Daredevil exists in the MCU, but it could very well exist in the same world as Sons of Anarchy or Law and Order – two other shows I enjoyed. This show stands on its’ own two feet, and doesn’t need to use the rest of the Marvel universe as a crutch. Fans who haven’t seen all the other movies or shows can appreciate being able to dive into a new show without being totally lost. I will without a doubt be watching and highly anticipating season 2 of Daredevil when it comes out. If you want a Disney quality TV show without the Disney movie rating, then this show is for you. I love the action, I love the violence, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I give this show a 9 out 10.

John Wick: Movie Review

If you’re like me, you saw the commercials for 2014’s John Wick and thought “dang that looks kind of cool” and naturally never got around to seeing it. Maybe it’s because I don’t have TV service and therefore live under a rock, but I don’t recall much advertising. It got added to my mental “to watch list” and I forgot about it until I saw it at the local Red Box the other day when I ended up renting No Good Deed.

Well the very next day Good Deed was back in the box and $1.50 later I was on my way home with John Wick in my left hand, Major’s leash in the right hand.

In the Bourne series, Matt Damon introduced the world to hurting people with seemingly harmless objects, like ballpoint pens, books, and towels, as seen here.

In the Taken series, Liam Neeson introduced us to the art of finding people, punching them in the throat 18 times, and then killing them.

Well get ready for a movie that will show you a whole new, awesome way of kicking ass as Keanu Reeves tears through New York City’s underbelly with new and innovative ways to use a pistol! I figured Shoot ‘Em Up had covered every conceivable way to use a pistol but that movie was straight up cheesy.

john-wick-pistol
John Wick with a pistol.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick is a legitimately awesome and intimidating character. Reeves is dry as ever, what else would you expect. But he’s dusted off the Matrix and was able to also portray a man who is funny, caring, angry, and grieving. Rounding out the cast are Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters (the Allstate mayhem guy), Adrianne Palicki, and for just a brief moment Ian McShane and John Leguizamo.

The movie itself had the tone of Constantine, with elements of Taken and Boondock Saints all sort of hodgepodged together, with a dash of Sin City. When it comes to my personal taste in movies, the darker and grittier, the better. If it’s not rated R, it’s not worth watching.

In a nutshell Reeves plays a retired assassin who traded in his career for a white picket fence. Shortly after his wife dies (of natural causes) he crosses paths with the guy who got his dick cut off from Game of Thrones, and he descends back into his former life of violence and confronts the local Russian mafia head on in a fight to the death. Russians make such good villains, don’t they?

john-wick-shotgun
John Wick with a the Kel-Tec KSG shotgun.

The movie had a ton of violence but it was tastefully done, and wasn’t just thrown in there to fill time. The movie also had a sense of humor. It wasn’t the laugh out loud type of comedy, but there are plenty of instances that have you chuckling to yourself muttering “that’s classic!”

There isn’t much to say of the movie in terms of story. I wouldn’t give it an A for originality, but despite the over done former-badass-becomes-badass-again storyline, they managed to squeeze water out of rocks and make a genuinely entertaining movie that doesn’t feel like all the others.

john-wick-church
John Wick with the venerable AR15, in evil matte black guise.

To be honest, at first I thought it was going to be one of those flicks that looked cool in the trailers but where the movie itself would utterly disappoint. Sort of like the entire X Men series.

Truth is I was utterly mistaken. If you like action movies or crime dramas, then you have got to see John Wick! And if you’re done thawing out from the winter you can waddle your way over to the local Red Box and get a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

I would absolutely see this movie again. I give John Wick an 8/10.

My Take on Sons of Anarchy

I’ve been an avid fan of Sons of Anarchy since it first aired back in 2008. SOA lasted a lot longer than people expected. Series creator Kurt Sutter originally didn’t plan on the show lasting any more than 3 seasons, but with record high ratings and level of viewers, the show was stretched out to 7 seasons. I would say that with the exception of Season 3, the entire series was amazing. Here is what the show is, and meant to me. (Spoiler alerts ahead).

soa jax

Honest

Sons was dark, it was edgy, suspenseful, hilarious, bloody and violence, and at times it was even heartbreaking *cough Opie Cough*. Most importantly, it was honest and faithful. In that honesty, the show never pulled any punches. It didn’t take the easy route. It didn’t run your characters to the edge of a cliff and work up a nail biter, just to reel them back in like some bullshit CW TV show. Sons would kick him (or her) right off. Fan favorites, show veterans, women, and children. In Sons of Anarchy, nothing is sacred.

Sons of Anarchy is not dickless like Vampire Diaries

Sons of Anarchy is not dickless like Vampire Diaries

Faithful

It was faithful and ‘stuck to the script’. Kurt Sutter once had a quote on the SOA website blasting other studios for having no balls. SOA has balls. Big balls. They would go there. No other TV show would have had the balls to air anything remotely close to the Season 2 or Season 6 Premiers. It was also faithful to the viewers, and wouldn’t cut the story or viewers short, just to make filming easier. The 60 minute show would frequently air 75 or 90 minute episodes, usually 2 per season, the entire sixth season was 90 minute episodes, and the series finale crept up on two hours. Does your TV show do that?

Depth

If all you know about the show is what you’ve seen on the commercials or ads, then you haven’t the slightest idea what the show actually is. Get past the criminals, the bikes, beards, guns, skulls, and highways and show has a lot of meaning and depth to it, which I have explained below.

Religion

The show, and specifically the series finale was ripe with religious innuendo. The bread and the wine left by the homeless woman was obviously a reference to Jesus, and the sacrifice he made. Whereas Jesus sacrificed himself to cleanse the sins of his fellow man, Jax in his final days did the dirty work necessary to prevent his brothers from having to commit to sin at all. They get to live free of punishment, because of Jax’s actions. The way Jax died, arms spread out, also ringed of Jesus Christ. Heck, even Jax and Jesus both start with J, as did both of their father’s, John and Joseph. But that could be stretching.

Take this wine, this is my blood, which shall be given up for you.
Take this wine, this is my blood, which shall be given up for you.

Harbinger

After years of fans wondering “what’s the deal with that homeless lady?” Jax finally asked the question outright in the series finale.

Was she Death? Was she God? Time? I think she was Fate, but more importantly, she was a harbinger, or omen. She presented herself to numerous characters over the course of the show, but usually to Jax and Gemma. The common thread here is she always appeared just before a wave of change, such as before Jax’s mission to lead the club away from crime, or before his final rampage.

Harbinger of doom
Harbinger of doom

Death

The last thing the homeless women gave to Jax in their final encounter was her blanket, as if to give him comfort or solace. She knew what he was going to do, and that gesture reassured him of his path. Not only that, the blanket itself was instrumental in the execution (no pun intended) of his plan, before offing August Marks.

Most importantly, when Jax wore the blanket, he looked like the Grim Reaper – Death – which the show alluded to all the time. That was actually some scary shit.

Jax as the Grim Reaper in Series Finale
Jax as the Grim Reaper in Series Finale

Family

The show is all about family, and what you would do to protect them. I think this show’s answer to that question is “anything”. And what happens when one of your loved ones hurts another. The problem is that one man’s path to protect his family might cross paths with another, and when that happens, we witness anarchy.

This was no more evidenced than by Gemma’s longstanding and heated relationship with Tara, and their tug of war of influence over Jax and the kids.

soa family

Martyrdom

Martyrdom and self-sacrifice was as big a theme as any in this show. Jax and Juice selling their souls to protect the club. Tig sacrificing himself to avenge and protect his daughters. Gemma hiding her rape to keep up the morale of her family and the club. Tara sacrificing a promising career and future to love a criminal and raise his son from another woman.

But then there is the sacrifice. You know what I’m talking about. The moment that stands out tallest among them all: When Opie sacrificed himself to the prison guards to save his brothers. Without even any context, this scene was the most heart wrenching of the entire show. But why? Because Opie had already lost so much to the club. Of all the club members, he had spent the most time in prison because a fellow member betrayed him. Then Opie was set up to look like a rat, and in a case of mistaken identity his wife was viciously murdered at the hands of the club. Then, in an effort to cover it up, Opie’s father was also killed by the club president. It seems so unfair, because Opie had given so much already. But Opie also had nothing else to lose. The club was all he had, so for him self-sacrifice was the only move he had.

Opie made the ultimate sacrifice.
Opie made the ultimate sacrifice.

For those who are well read, Opie and this scene reminded me of the Boxer the horse, and what befell him, in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

Anarchy

You’d think the Sons – given their name – would be all about anarchy, but they aren’t. The Sons actually have a very organized system set up for how they handle their affairs, and deal with members and insubordination.

Despite this, the Sons do land themselves in a handful of shitty situations that at times seem very chaotic. Chaos is the protagonist of the entire series. It is amazing how one misstep, one lie, one deception, one bullet, can result in such a devastating and endless series of events.

Yeah, Sons of Anarchy sounds cool. But I think the point of the club’s name is not so much to literally mean “children of chaos”, but more likely, that we are all the byproduct of chaotic situations. Jax Teller is the show’s biggest testimony to that, and despite his actions or best intentions, he couldn’t change himself or his club. As my friend Brett tells me, a rock cannot change the river.

David vs. Goliath

This ties back into the religious innuendo, but the underdog narrative also makes for good story telling in general.

In season one, the sons are a big fish in a small pond, operating unopposed in their small, fictional town of Charming, California. They are in the minor leagues, and their protagonists are a rival small time motorcycle club, a street gang in Oakland, and some skinheads. As the show moves on, the threats escalate, and the enemies the Sons encounter get bigger and badder.

The Sons graduate, and clash with skinheads, rival MCs, the Aryan Brotherhood, the ATF, the IRA, the Russian mobs, the Chinese mafia, crooked cops, sadistic US Marshalls, Mexican drug cartels, and even the CIA.

The World Keeps Spinning

With a lot of cunning, the Sons (usually) ended up on top, by the skin of their teeth.

I think the message of the show is to keep on keeping on. No matter what adversity you face. The problems, the troubles, the confusion. Do the best you can with what you have, work hard and push through to make the best life you can for yourself, your family, and your children.

We’ll always be remembered, but the world keeps spinning long after we’re gone.

soa world keep spinning

Guradians of the Galaxy: Movie Review

Guardians was one of my most anticipated movies EVER, so it goes without saying that this has also been one of my most anticipated movie reviews. The drive home after the movies on Friday night had me all amped and excited, as I endlessly regaled my favorite quotes and characters from the film.

It’s important that I start my review by making something very clear, Guardians of the Galaxy absolutely kicked ass. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. But seriously, it was an amazing movie and so entertaining I don’t even know where to begin my review.

Marvel wasted no time at all jumping into the movie. There was a super brief yet emotional “origin story” at the beginning where you get a little history about movie front runner Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord. After that the movie is a non-stop sprint to the finish line.

10 minutes into the movie I was sold. The opening scene from the trailers with Chris Pratt and Djimon Hounsou was hilarious, action packed, an 80’s flash back, and probably had PETA shitting bricks.

Marvel managed to do in one film with Guardians, what it took them 6 movies to do with the Avengers ensemble. Guardians Director James Gunn did a phenomenal job getting audiences to fall in love with and root for a bunch of characters they had never even heard of before, in the span of just two hours without it feeling rushed.

Whereas 2012’s Avengers could have plausibly been titled “IRON MAN! …and his friends too”, Guardians does a much better job balancing the roles so that no character drowns out the other.

Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord
Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt

We have Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord. An 80’s American born kid who was abducted by aliens and spends the rest of his life wandering the galaxy as a thief. His only remaining earthly possessions are a Sony Walkman (remember those?) and a mix tape (or those?!) of songs his mom made him. Those songs, artfully chosen, provide the soundtrack for the entire movie. Quill clearly mastered the American art of bull-shitting, which proves to be an invaluable skillset in outer space. Chris Pratt did an amazing job bringing this no-name character to life on the big screen. In fact he did such a good job that he out Iron Man’s Iron Man, and when the Avengers and Guardians finally collide in theaters, Peter Quill is going to be more than a match for Tony Stark. Audiences will find him much more likable too as his character is so humble and down-to-earth.

Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana
Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana

Next we have the femme fatale Gamora. Zoe Saldana loves to play aqua-colored vixens, but she plays them amazingly well! Gamora is an assassin turned good, whose inside knowledge of the threats to the universe make her a pivotal character in movie. Her backstory is bloody and regrettable. She is fierce, cunning, beautiful, and incredibly lethal. She is this ensembles direct response to Black Widow.

Drax the Destroyer, played by David Bautista
Drax the Destroyer, played by David Bautista

Then we have Drax the Destroyer, another aqua colored badass in the film and played by David Bautista. This physically intimidating character is on a vengeful killing rampage across the galaxy after his family was killed by movie villain Ronan the Accuser. He comes from a race of aliens whose language and communication style does not lend itself to metaphor, idioms, or innuendo. Most jokes go right over his head, but as Drax would correct you “Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast. I will seize it.” Huge, green-ish, and not a big talker, Drax is the Guardian’s equivalent of the Hulk.

Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel
Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel

Where do I even start with Rocket? Put frankly, Rocket is foul-mouthed, bi-pedal, incredibly intelligent raccoon that has no clue he’s a raccoon, or for that matter what a raccoon even is. He was experimented on and genetically altered, making him the way he is. Perfectly voiced by Bradley Cooper, he’s rude, insensitive, and had me dying of laughter the entire movie. His backstory is also very tragic, making that a common theme amongst the movies characters. Underneath his insecurities, Rocket the bounty hunting critter has a ton of heart, and is my favorite character in the movie.

Lastly, we have Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. Groot, the walking and occasionally talking tree alien was one of my favorites. He is Rocket’s body guard and companion as a bounty hunter. Despite his very limited vocabulary, Groot proves that when it comes to communication, it’s all about quality, not quantity. If you asked me to explain exactly why Groot is so cool and invaluable to the movie, I couldn’t give you an answer. But I promise you he is. (My mom asserts it’s because Groot’s limited vocabulary reminds me of my dad. Hardy har har, mom.) Groot isn’t chatty, fast, or oozing with intelligence, but he is emotional, caring, and extremely protective. Groot is also the dessert of the movie, and Marvel saved the best for last. You’ll have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about.

I was laughing, I was cheering, I was screaming, and I was clapping. The crowd in my theater clapped on four occasions throughout the movie. If this movie doesn’t have you rooting for the good guys, you have no heart. If it doesn’t have you dancing to the Jackson 5, you have no soul. And if it doesn’t have you cramping from laughter, you have no sense of humor. Bring the wife, bring the kids, and hope they don’t learn any new words. This action packed, star spanning movie breathes new life into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will have you begging for more. Avengers, look out! Here come the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Was it enjoyable? YES! I’ll just come out and say that Guardians of the Galaxy was twice as good as the Avengers. It had more action that action movies, more adventure than adventure movies, and way more laughs than dedicated comedies. On top of that, the movie had one thing Avengers sorely lacked: Heart. For enjoyability, I give Guardians of the Galaxy an A+.

Did it deliver what it advertised? Yes and much, much more. I was expecting a B movie with a Disney financed A movie advertising budget. I was quickly corrected. This movie is the movie you’ve been waiting for. A+.

Would I see it again? I plan on seeing Guardians at least once more in theaters and have every intention of purchasing the Blu Ray when it comes out on release, hopefully by Christmas.

The Purge: Anarchy: Movie review

After 90 minutes at the drive in, I made it through Lucy. After a quick  run to the restroom, I was back in my car and ready for the second feature of the night, The Purge: Anarchy.

Being that The Purge: Anarchy is a sequel, I didn’t set my hopes too high, but I was still plenty excited about it since I enjoyed the first one, and was curious to see how they were to going to take the premise of the 2013 film and build on it.

From the commotion on the grapevine – or lack thereof – The Purge (2013) didn’t do so well financially or with the critics. I didn’t hear any smack talking, but I also didn’t hear of anyone talking it up or rushing out to see it. I enjoyed the first film nonetheless, and took it for the movie it was.

Purgers and Hunters, from "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014)
Purgers and Hunters, from “The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)

For those who haven’t see either, The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy take place in the not so distant future, in the years 2022 and 2023, respectively. The U.S. is governed by “The New Founding Fathers” and every year starting on March 21, all crime is completely legal* (including theft, rape, and murder) for 12 hours (7PM March 21st – 7AM March 22nd). There are a few exceptions however, such as not being allowed to use anything over a “Class 4” weapon, which isn’t defined. The big exception is that it is still illegal to target certain government officials. Bullshit, right? This period of lawlessness is called the purge.

In this world, crime, unemployment, and other societal ills have dropped to astonishingly low levels, by U.S. standards. In The Purge (2013), it’s generally accepted that the purge is creditable for these changes. The argument in the first installation is: Do the ends justify the means? Is it worth it? Is letting people take out their aggression on others without reprimand acceptable?

Purging sacrifice
Purging sacrifice, “The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)

In The Purge: Anarchy, the moral quagmire is that the purge isn’t just the government’s way of letting people blow off steam, but that it is in fact designed to reduce the population of people society deems undesirable. Those who are weak and defenseless, the poor, the sick, the elderly, and anyone else unable to defend themselves during the 12 hour onslaught make easy pickings for the hordes of “purgers”. The rich, with their fortress style mansions (explained in the 2013 film), and private security, are practically untouchable. Naturally, government officials (class 10 or higher) have exempted themselves from the annual purge.

The Anarchy touches up on issues of class warfare, racism, greed, genocide, and a plethora of other issues and cleverly dresses them up as an action/suspense movie.

Audiences probably noticed there was no Ethan Hawk in this movie. It was a sequel, but the film centers around an entirely new lineup of cast and characters. It takes places a year after the first events. Whereas the first movie took place in white bread Suburbia, Anarchy takes place in a completely difference setting: Urban America.

I knew nothing of the cast before I watched the film. Once the movie picked up the pace, I immediately recognized Frank Grillo (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Prison Break). Grillo does an amazing job playing a grieving father whose son was killed, who is looking to enact his revenge on the night of the purge. He carries most of the major action scenes and shoot outs, and keeps the story grounded.

Frank Grillo in "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014)
Frank Grillo in “The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)

There is a couple on the edge of divorce that gets stranded in the middle of the city shortly before the beginning of the purge. Call me paranoid, but if I lived in this world, I probably wouldn’t leave my house on March 21, and if I did it’s because I was hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere in a bunker, and armed to the teeth – or in Canada.

We also have a mother and daughter. The mother is harmless, and hardworking to support her family. Her daughter, despite having good intentions and probably being the most morally incorruptible of the cast, had me shouting “Shut the fuck up!” every couple minutes throughout the entire movie. Luckily you can scream out loud when you’re in your own car.

All said and done, it was definitely an entertaining, nail biting, thought provoking, and worthwhile film. Anarchy was to The Purge, as Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was to the prior Paranormal films in the franchise. Each of the latest incarnations taking on more of an urban, gritty tone.

Was it enjoyable? Absolutely. Not only was it as good as the first movie, but it was better and very different. Will The Purge franchise turn into the next Saw or Paranormal Activity, where audiences can expect a new sequel every year? Will the studio use the backdrop of the annual purge to address other societal concern and controversial issues? For enjoyability, I give this movie a solid A.

Did it deliver what it advertised? The trailers were a little misleading, and omitted a lot of the finer points of the movie. Did it deliver as advertised? Yes, it did, and much more. Again, Anarchy gets an A.

Would I see it again? I might buy the DVD, but not the Bluray. Given the chance I would definitely watch this movie again, and would gladly welcome a third installment.