The Warriors (1979) – Review

3 Stars

Giving us a hellish vision of new York in the near future, a surreal parallel world in which the streets are void of regular people. On these mean streets it’s either gang member or cop, both of whom of members of the Warriors gang are running from. 60,000 of the cities toughest hoods and 20,000 police officers are searching for the nine members that compromise the street hang from Coney Island known as the Warriors.

Taunt editing and Hill’s trademark skill for shooting macho violence as among the films greatest assets. Along with crisp cinematography from one of the masters in the field, Andrew Lazlo. capturing the dense dark of nighttime in a hostile environment and the blue/green hue of subway trains’ interior lights, the overall ‘look’ of the film aids in its timelessness.

The Warriors seems to occupy the same parallel universe as the nightmarish Escape from New York, which would make a fitting double feature. Steeped in homage to classical Greek mythology the analogies to mythical battles and struggles are evident and cleverly inserted with modern-day characters and dilemmas.

Intercut between each episodic confrontation is a female radio disc jockey who comments on the proceedings and sends messages to various gangs in semi-cryptic musical dedications. It’s a brilliant touch and gives the picture that rock and roll or music infused edge that would also surface in Hill’s 48hrs and Streets of Fire.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Michael Beck, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly

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