As its subtitle suggests, "The Purge: Anarchy" -- a quickly realized sequel to last year's home-invasion horror hit, "The Purge" -- wears its angry politics on its bloody sleeve. Government conspiracies, black revolutionaries, "the redistribution of wealth" and the "worship" of firearms are among the topics broached (and sometimes bludgeoned) in this violent survival saga, which conspicuously places an American flag in its opening scene and cynically applies "America the Beautiful" to its end credits.
Is it too much? In an era in which almost every theatrical movie is either a limited-run "art" or "indie" project or a wide commercial release, an exploitation film with a message will be noticed. Gone are the days when the political and cultural satire of such drive-by cash grabs as the Roger Corman production "Death Race 2000" (1975) would be appreciated only by connoisseurs, cultists and perhaps a handful of the critics who bothered to review them. If those older movies seemed sly and subversive, "The Purge: Anarchy" is self-conscious and obvious; but that doesn't negate the power of its premise nor diminish the catharsis, for the right moviegoer, of a story that asks audiences to cheer for mostly underdog and ethnic characters in their struggle against forces that a 1970s blaxploitation movie might have collectively defined as "the Man."