Google defines mediocre as:

me·di·o·cre

ˌmēdēˈōkər

Adjective: of only moderate quality; not very good.

“a mediocre meal”

Synonyms: ordinary, average, middling, middle-of-the-road, uninspired, undistinguished, indifferent, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, prosaic, lackluster, forgettable, amateur, amateurish; Informal: OK, so-so, ‘comme ci, comme ça’, plain-vanilla, fair-to-middling, no great shakes, not up to much, bush-league.

The Purge: Anarchy is mediocre. The Purge: Anarchy is uninspired. The Purge: Anarchy is every one of those synonyms listed above. According to the entire internet if you’re looking to get into the Purge series, you should skip the first one and start at the Purge: Anarchy. So I haven’t seen The Purge and The Purge: Election Year (yet, apparently it’s better than Anarchy). I think Purge: Anarchy was oversold to me, because as soon as I saw that this was produced by BlumHouse (responsible for shitting out every trash found footage film for the last 10 years) and Platinum Dunes (responsible for such hits like 2009’s Friday the 13th and 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street), I knew I was in for disappointment.

The Purge Night (once a year, the U.S. government sanctions that all crime is legal for 12 hours) is such a cool concept for some really interesting and dark stories to be told, but Anarchy is so boldly inoffensive in it’s execution that I can’t even fathom how this was given an R rating. For a film that’s trying to show how messed up and depraved the average person is beneath their perfectly reserved and kept together exterior, there’s not an awful lot of violence. What little violence there is in the film is either off screen, or is a shaky camera shot of somebody firing a gun, and then subpar CGI blood squirting out their backs. I understand that guns are probably the easiest thing to use to kill people on Purge Night, but for the sake of creative film making, at least give the audience some variations in violence. Since this film was set in a large urban city and took place both indoors and out in the streets, literally anything could have been used as a weapon, but instead, we just get people with guns, shooting at each other for an hour and a half.

Needless to say, the characters in The Purge: Anarchy are pretty one dimensional. The only one who could have some depth, the unnamed Sergeant, is about as clichéd as they come. The movie mentions that there is a rebel anti-Purge faction who are trying to overthrow the government, and while they do show up to Deus Ex Machina our ragtag group of main characters, out of a pickle, they then just kind of leave each other. Why would these rebels be in the movie at all if they aren’t given a major stake in the story? Literally anybody could have come to save our characters at that moment, even other people taking part of the Purge as well.

Also, somebody fire this franchise’s marketing team. In the films, Purge Night is on March 22 every year, but these movies are released in theaters in June or July.

I’m honestly out of things to write here. The Purge: Anarchy is so dull that I can barely put together 500 words on it without quote a fucking dictionary on the word mediocre and writing a quip on the movie’s release date. Don’t watch this movie.

-David