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I wasn’t a fan of the first The Purge, I thought it was a really cool premise with a very lazy execution that turned a potential filled story into a routine home invasion flick. The sequel takes far better advantage of the concept of a 12 hour period where all crimes are legal and turns it into an action adventure that is part Escape From New York and part Enemy Territory. The story has a group of 5 people…a couple (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez), a mother and daughter (Carmen Ejogo and Zoe Soul) and a mysterious and well-armed stranger (Frank Grillo) who are respectively trapped, forced outside and/or voluntarily outside as The Purge begins and details the various threats they encounter as they try to survive the night. Simple and effective and well directed by James DeMonaco, who also wrote the script, and is an improvement over the first flick, which he also wrote and directed. Sure the flick gets a bit cliché when it gets political and derails a bit when it deviates into some oddball situations that sort of disrupt the tension and flow of the action…some time spent with the family of a friend of Eva’s comes to mind…but the flick does move fast and has some nice atmosphere, suspense and more than a few intense violent moments. Not a great flick, but a far more entertaining one than the boring original and Grillo shows, once again, he is an action hero in the making.

3 star rating