Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Warriors (1979)

Director: Walter Hill
Writers: Sol Yurick, David Shaber, Walter Hill
DOP: Andrew Laszlo
Cast: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright

In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors, one of the gangs, are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

The film came at a time when crimes and gang related violence were a problem in NYC. There is this narrative that the city solved it using the broken windows policing method and the counter-narrative to it is that the reduction was correlated to the legalization of abortion whose effect came 'teenage' and some more years down the lane. Walter Hill's adaptation of Sol Yurick's 1965 novel with the same name drew the ire of the critics when it came out mainly because it was neutral about the gangs it depicted. There was also some violence during the first days of its screening as many gang members were turning up to watch the film. Things would naturally take a violent turn when they spot their rivals during the screening.

Like 'The Driver', the story is very simple and it has a very stripped down quality to it. It has a very video game feel to it as well and it is no surprise that it has spawned video games since its release after achieving the cult status. I was pleasantly surprised to see the comic book transitions used in the film and it turns out Walter Hill couldn't include it during the theatrical run as there was no time during post-production. It was included in the Director's Cut which came out in 2005. It is very stylish in its choreography and the lady RJ reminded me of Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction. The stunts do look a bit comical now though. It is a great watch overall without being as good as the driver.

Rating: 4/5