Note: the copy of The Warriors I own is the DVD of the Ultimate Director’s Cut, which is said by the director to be different in certain aspects to the original. The comments I make may not be applicable to the original version.
The Warriors is a film from 1979 which focuses on gang culture in New York. It is said by the director, Walter Hill (48 Hrs, Aliens) to take the subject in a futuristic, comic-book way.
The setting of the film is, as said, New York. In this fictional New York, there are around 200 gangs, each controlling their own area (or “turf”). The film begins with representives of 100 of these gangs, including the gang the film looks at, The Warriors, going to a mystery meeting run by The Riffs, the seemingly most promonent gang. The Riffs leader, Cyrus, gives the peaceful crowd a speech about how, if they teemed up, they could easily outnumber the NY police force and run it all. This speech is interrupted when the leader of another gang, The Rogues, shoots and kills Cyrus, then frames it on The Warriors. Most of the remainder of the film focuses on The Warriors’ desperate, weaponless return to their turf, and the encounters with enemy gangs they make along the way.
It’s a film anyone can enjoy. There’s next to no complexity in the plot – the previous paragraph is pretty much all there is to it, but their encounters with other gangs all lead to different results. For example, the 30-strong low-down gang The Orphans seem to have the Warriors outnumbered, until they throw a petrol bomb at the nearest car and blow several of them up. At another point, they have to outrun a gang called the Turnbull ACs to get to the train home in time – the ACs are sporting a large grey bus and a host of melee weaponry.
It’s an action film where the entertainment comes as much from the range of characters in the Warriors (the womanising Ajax, the newbie Rembrandt, the serious leader Swan etc) as the stuff they have to endure on their venture home. It comes recommended. And, if you enjoy it, the 2005 videogame out on PS2, the original Xbox, and PSP, serves as a prequel to the story, showing the backgrounds of the characters in the film, as well as being a decent game in its own right.
Here’s a trailer of the film, and a trailer for the game too for good measure.