After watching the first The Purge, I felt a kind of emptiness about the movie. The concept was fun and potentially interesting. But the script had obviously been written for an extremely low budget. Really all the first movie got right was that it made people aware of the premiss. But it ultimately failed to show off what made that premiss entertaining or even watchable to tell the truth.
So I was curious about The Purge: Anarchy. On the surface it seems to fix those problems. It's the same idea, for one night out of the year murder is legal... okay. But it actively gets us out into the city to see the action on the streets. It should be a war out there. It should be. But the streets are oddly emptier than the original would have led us to believe. Not that there aren't terrible things going down, I guess there are just a lot fewer. Which surprisingly does serve the movie. So in that respect this is a better movie than the original.
Yet James DeMonaco fails to create many compelling characters (not that there aren't "okay" performances), and even worse, he uses death as a side note. Not a single death in the movie (much like the original) actually made me react. Not a single death really affected the momentum of the story... nor did it really service the plot in a respectable way. After so many years of seeing Game of Thrones get death so right, it's just annoying to sit down in a movie and watch the writer completely misuse it.
To me, The Purge: Anarchy is a better movie than the original. But that's not saying a whole lot. It's a disjointed war movie pretending to be a horror flick... and it fails to effectively become a complete film.