The Warriors (1979)


Oozing with inner city thrills and urban tension, this is a film to delight with a very easy plot to follow and fantastic pumping music to heighten the journeying drama as we progress with the central gang.

After a late night meeting gone wrong, Coney Island gang; The Warriors led by Swan (Michael Beck) are blamed for a crime they didn’t commit. They must try and get back to their turf on Coney Island but being all the way in the Bronx, followed by many gangs and the police force will make this a hard night to get through.

Firstly I have to say that this is such a fun idea, I know it’s about danger and gang warfare but there’s a cool charm to the movie that makes it exciting. It’s such a simple plot and you can keep with it easily. Walter Hill and David Shaber ensure the screenplay includes as many dramatic gang entrances as possible, even if that means they seem to forget to make the dialogue more gripping.

It’s true to say that the words spoken are mostly bad and/or cringey, on top of this most of the cast deliver them in a hammy manner but that’s just another factor I liked about this rumble in the Bronx setting. Back then I can imagine this New York based crime thriller was more edgy and it faced problems in screenings with violence breaking out thanks to the gangs going to see the show feeling the movie spoke to them but now, it may retain a trace of danger but it’s more of a joyous 70’s road-trip without the car.

The gangs are great, each with their own striking identities. From bat wielding face painted hordes to plain t-shirted Orphans, the groups that collect in unity against The Warriors stand out and are memorable for the part they try and play in stopping our red vested heroes. Saying that though, they’re not exactly heroes, they cause problems, get rapey and say bad things which is a slight issue but the period of the movie speaks for that kind of behaviour.

I loved the music, the cool breaking in of an unseen female DJ speaking out across the gang radio frequencies and picking songs that talk about The Warriors. There is such an undeniably cool vibe to the songs that play and over most of the scenes the music adds to the neon yet grimy feel of this feature.

The film may not be clever or really have much of a point or any danger but it’s pulpy entertainment, it’s got silly action slow-mo and it screams cult film which is not a bad thing at all. The ensemble of gang figures are silent yet brooding and The Warriors themselves do enough to make you like them if not truly care for them. Hill directs with enough Big Apple style to keep the whole thing energetic and it’s clear to see why remakes and TV series are in talks because it’s just a good concept.

Come out to play and have the time of your life by seeing this ruling gangster action film.



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