I vividly remember seeing this VHS box art at the video store and wondering what it was all about. I never got around to actually watching the film back in the day. In the last five years of so, I started hearing about this film again. First it was a few folks putting it on top ten lists of 1970s films and then John Muir covered it in his book Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1970s. That is where I learned it was based on Anabasis by Xenophon. So now I knew I had to watch it.
Cyrus (Roger Hill) has a grand plan, to unite all the gangs in New York city, and take over the whole thing. United, there is no way the police or politicians can stop them. He asks nine reps from all the gangs of New York together for a summit meeting, and in attendance are key members of The Warriors, whose turf is Coney Island. As the summit progresses, the gangs begin to see the benefits of joining up with Cyrus. Then everything goes to hell when Cyrus is assassinated. The Warriors are incorrectly blamed.
Swan (Michael Beck), the leader of the Warriors, must now lead his crew of eight men through hostile territory. Various gangs are hunting them down, after Cyrus gang puts a bounty on their heads. The police are searching for them too. Within the ranks, Ajax (James Remar) starts to question Swan’s leadership. Along the way they meet Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) a woman who may help or hinder them. They also have to watch out for Luther (David Patrick Kelly) the man who actually knows who killed Cyrus, and who wants to make sure The Warriors are the ones that pay.
- Rolls along with a fierce intensity that keeps you watching
- Has some fun and explosive action scenes
- Some solid acting helps pull you into the story
- Some of the fight choreography is lacking in places
- If 70s style and slang annoy you… avoid this movie
- Not much depth to the plot and some of the characters are shallow
Walter Hill brought the intriguing yet flawed Streets of Fire to the big screen, but before that he crafted this action tale. The Warriors does a great job capturing the desperation, intensity and anxiety of the original tale. The cast handles the roles well providing a mix of personalities that play off each other. The rival gangs are bizarre and colorful (love the baseball themed thugs) and the whole film moves at a great pace. Plenty of action and tension make this great for a 1970s action fix.
Scores (out of 5)
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