This action thriller follows the silly premise of last year’s ‘The Purge’. America in the near future has wiped out crime with Purge Night: for 12 hours once a year all crime is legal and hospitals and police stations are shut down. The concept is hard to take seriously (the cost of property damage would be astronomical). But couldn’t this sequel have at least had a little more fun? Depressingly uncreative, it follows a band of innocents hunted on the streets, striking a generic tone of urban warfare when dark comedy or revenge would have been more entertaining.
The cast is game, but the characters are thinly unmemorable. Only a few moments trigger a giggle: like the news announcer who hopes that we have a ‘successful cleanse’; or the wealthy machete-armed family that pays to have their victim home-delivered like a pizza with extra pepperoni. Mainly, though, this is a humourless film. Writer-director James DeMonaco must believe he’s making a sombre statement about class warfare. Nuh-uh. It’s more like a new ‘Saw’ franchise with some Tea Party anxieties thrown in.