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Cinema Flashback: Who Are The Warriors?

Published June 14, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Bubba Craner | Image property of Amazon
The Warriors Purchase The Warriors from Amazon
Could you imagine if all of the gangs from the streets of Los Angeles stopped killing each other just longer enough to unite for a special meeting? And in that meeting, the president of the biggest gang delivered an oration about uniting into one large collective force that would be able to take over the city.

As for reality, this is a scary idea, however it is a great premise for a film. Well, actually it is a film: The Warriors.

The Warriors

Deciding to watch a film that I hadn't seen in quite a while, The Warriors, ended up in my DVD player the other night. First off, I had forgotten how much I did/do like this movie. It has great cinematography, and fast-paced action that allows its out-dated sense to be perceived now as just a period piece. With great New York lingo, locations and costumes, this film does not allow for the audience to become distracted by its age.

The Warriors is still capable of resonating with audiences today because it is slightly more than just a couple of hours of entertainment. Yes the story line is good, and yes the film moves swiftly with ample action/fight scenes, but it is more than that. This film is dark in its portrayal of New York City, with its stark and cold illustration of the subway. Even for the hardcore gang members in the film is the train a place to be weary and cautious. It also initiates the examination of questions dealing with deception, the fish-out-of-water theme, when to be strong and when to lie down, and collective authority vs. singular authority. And just to add another element, woven through this film is a radio commentary of the Warriors' progress as they try to make it back to Coney Island without getting killed. However, the radio commentary also serves as a cauldron of irony in that it craftily informs other gangs the whereabouts of the Warriors.

The Warriors Synopsis

The leader (Cyrus) of the largest street gang in N.Y.C.(The Riffs) commences a rally inviting all of the prominent gangs around. As he delivers a Hitler-esc oration, one of the thugs in the crowd of hundreds assassinates him. As chaos ensues, the gang from Coney Island (The Warriors) is tagged with the blame, however they don't yet realize it. As they plow their way through the melee their leader falls. The Warriors must make it back to Coney Island (27 miles from where they're at) before morning, but they don't know if the pardon/parley is still in effect. Needless to say, it is not, and all of the gangs are after them because of the murder accusation.

Not only do the Warriors fight their way to the subway, but every time they actually get on the train calamity supervenes, thereby forcing them back on the streets. As the race unfolds, we see the Warriors defend themselves diplomatically and physically, split up, get arrested, get thrown in front of a moving subway train, steel O.P.P. (other peoples…) and party down with girls who are only trying to lure them in for the kill.

The Warriors finally set foot on Coney Island, but are met by the gang who bumped off Cyrus. As the two gangs pace towards each other, the Riffs make their way onto the battlegrounds. By this time they (The Warriors) have found out that they were tagged with the murder culpability. Thus being confronted by the Riffs insinuates that their home they so sought after in no longer impregnable. However the Riffs know something that the Warriors are not aware of, and… I'll leave the end to you.

The Warriors is another excellent 80's flick (even though it was made in 1979) that continues to have its nostalgic portal gates open for anyone wishing to travel back in time. The only negative aspect of this Walter Hill classic is that the DVD was released through Paramount Studios, thus there are no special features. That's right, no commentary, behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes or personnel interviews. As if we're really interested, the only extra included in the DVD release is the theatrical trailer.

Final Judgment: But all in all, The Warriors is a cult classic, and if you haven't seen it, or have not seen it in quite some time, then do yourself a favor and get down with it.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Bubba Craner
Sources: Image property of Amazon

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