The Warriors Reviews
I've got a bias towards this film that I need to state upfront. I like 70s crime and action movies. Gritty location photography is awesome, especially urban location photography. I liked the atmosphere of paranoia and tension surrounding things. It reminded me a lot of Assault of Precinct 13 (the original), as well as later films (that I saw before I saw this one) such as Escape From New York and Judgement Night.
As I mentioned above, you can read as little or as much into this as you want, and it would be totally fine to do so. By reading into it, this film can rise above its place as a well-made B-Movie, and it can becomes something more, something a scholar could use for some sort of study or something, such as cinematic representations of gang warfare and race relations.
While not great the acting is actually pretty decent. Michael Beck is great, and David Patrick Kelly is the definite scene stealer. I don't know what it is, but seeing a black guy with a fro wearing Native American garb brought a smile to my face. Yet again this is something that could be analyzed to death. This wasn't quite as gritty or violent as I thought it might be, but I didn't actually mind too much. As much as I appreciate visceral shocking violence, I much prefer subtlety and more downplayed mayhem.
I better stop before I ramble too much more. Bottom line, if you haven't seen this yet, you probably should. It's a definite cult classic that deserves all the praise it gets.
It takes place in a not to distant future where hundreds of small gangs rule New York, these gangs mostly have names that are vaguely reminiscent of sports-teams. The Warriors, The Rogues, Turnbull AC's and Baseball Furies just to name a few and all of these gangs have a theme, which draws the mind to the classic, "A Clockwork Orange" the society in this film seems similar, but the approach is much more focused on style and the scope of the story narrower. When Cyrus the leader of New York's most powerful gang holds a gathering for almost all of the city's gangs in an attempt to form an alliance, The Rogues murder him and frames The Warriors, who now have to make the entire trip from the gathering in Bronx to their turf in Coney Island while being pursued by every rival gang in New York. The style of the film with the themed gangs, the cool action scenes, the dark settings and the burdensome quest would make one think the film was based on a graphic-novel that, however, is not the case the director was just shooting for a comic-book look and even starts every chapter of the film with a comic-strip. The film was actually based on a novel which borrows some elements from the old greek text Anabasis.
Once you can get past the 70's cheese, stale acting and action sequences, you can see what the film is saying rather than how it's saying it. A brightly lit train keeps whirring through station to station: showing the past, present, and future. Every time they get on the train, they are forced off by people looking for them. Can they get back on the train? Will they get home? All of this happens in one action-packed night in the gangster-ridden city.