Let's get right to it. Jon always talks about "the stakes" in a movie. Well The Warriors set the stakes with the best of them. The opening sequence of the movie does about as good a job setting the stakes as any movie we've watched so far. The cuts of the mini conversations among The Warriors with the map of the longway from CI to the Bronx to the other gangs getting on their trains all to some pretty kickass music and that's a great intro.
You got 9 guys representing a Coney Island gang unarmed at a meetup of all the gangs of NYC. Why are they unarmed and why are they going, they cover it- Cyrus called the meeting and has enough respect in the city as president of the Riffs to inspire a truce. We learn about who these Warriors are and what are their motives. Cleon is the leader, Swan is the quiet 2nd in command, Ajax (Dexters dad) likes fighting and screwing, I wonder if he can read the news, Rembrandt must be somebody's little brother because all he brings is a can of spray paint. I imagine they needed a tagger and just decided it was him and they could call him Rembrandt. They said, we want a really badass W, kinda old English style but with Indian feathers and shit and a tomahawk. He draws a crooked regular print capital W and says how's this. Cleon and Swan decide he's clearly retarded and just let him think it's just what they wanted. Speaking of the gang, did anyone else find it refreshing to see such racially diverse gangs in the 70s?
Onto the meeting, perhaps if Cyrus (who I always thought was played by Larry Fishburn, guess not) had pulled some permits maybe the cops wouldn't have shown up and at least some of the chaos after his assassination would've been averted. Definitely unintentional parallel to rioting in Baltimore of people vs the police to Cyrus' speech I was not thinking about #socialjustice when I picked the movie. At the speech we get to meet the guy who later delivers one of the most famously creepy lines in movie history, Luther- henceforth known as not Sean Penn, is the perfect crazy bastard troublemaker for the part. David Patrick Kelly aka not Sean Penn aka Luther delivers by far the best performance in a movie that admittedly contained very few solid acting performances. Shots fired and the crazy fuck quickly and smartly blames the gang whose member saw him do it. In the chaos surrounding it works and all eyes are on The Warriors and poor Cleon goes down.
Putting the word out that all gangs are to come after the Warriors, the DJ's, henceforth known as "The Chief" because she was the chief in Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, not so subtle lines and music choices do a great job setting the table. I love her voice. Her tone and enunciation make her perfect for radio.
First up we run from a bus of the Turnbull ACs, this is the first real negative I have, the shot was too long, the bus would've rode them down no problem with the distance they had to run based on the shot we're given and even if they get to the platform dozens of the ACs would've made the platform too for a showdown.
The Orphans led by not David Schwimmer were an excellent addition and my favorite gang of the night. They were such losers they kept newspaper clippings on hand to show to people they came across to tell them they were not to be messed with. We also met Mercy played by not Rosario Dawson. Honestly she's a wasted character, we get everything we need without a quasi-love story that develops starting with her antagonizing them into confrontation with the Orphans and wasting their only Molotov cocktail on a bunch of lame fucks. I mean their gang uniforms were dirty t-shirts with the word Orphans glued on the back, the Fiji IM T-shirt giveaways were better quality.
Next up the Baseball Furies took The Chief's baseball analogy about the Orphans being minor league up a notch by having full-on uniforms, makeup, and bats. Unfortunately for them they weren't skilled with those bats at all.
Brief talk about cops because now Ajax gets pinched because he's already fought and only needs to screw and read the news to finish his day. Good thing Oscar-winner Mercedes Ruehl is sitting alone in the middle of the night in the park. Did anybody else think the rest of the cops took way too long to show up? She blew the rape whistle forever before they came along. Had it been real trouble like Son of Sam and not just Ajax she'd have been fucked.
The Lizzies, Vermin is so stupid and driven by what I believe was referred to in the opening intros as some strange wool that he didn't realize this was obviously another gang about to come down on them. Thankfully these bitches are worse than the Furies because armed and outnumbered and enclosed on their base they let these Warriors away with barely a scratch.
The fairest fight of the night came in the train station against a gang I didn't get the name of but can only assume by the roller skates and feathered hair that these guys were badasses and The Warriors were lucky to escape based on the element of surprise since these guys thought they were just jumping Swan.
Finally they meet the Rogues on the sand and somehow Swans sidestep knife throw not only landed but Luther's shot didn't hit Swan from close range or the people standing behind him.
I normally try not to just summarize a movie we all just watched but it was too much fun offering those summaries than not. To comment on whether it was a good movie or not I'll be fairly brief. I already mentioned they did fantastic setting the stakes to open the movie, the 9 guys were unarmed and a long way from home and everyone was out to get them. The opening train ride with quick cut conversations probably elevated the movie a full letter grade by properly setting the tone and setting the expectations. The fight scenes were pretty terrible but I'm going to defend them. Did any of you get in or witness many fights growing up? They don't look like most fights you see in movies because very few people are actually both trained to fight and in really good shape and are really athletic. So the fights we get in todays movies don't happen in real life, in real life you get wild baseball bat swings that come nowhere close to the target. The acting was terrible and the dialogue was lacking but the movie was about the tension of the journey home and obstacles one after another coming on. Having the happy prom kids hop on the train as they were finally making it back to Coney was a nice complement to their journey, those kids recognized The Warriors had been through some shit tonight we're going to shut up and get off the train right away.
continued support of NYC being shitty in the 70s
+- boring but realistic fighting
+++the stakes are set
-not Rosario Dawson was a thruway character
+ don't care about the minuses because it was fun
+ between building a house and all the time spent in trainstations I was constantly thinking- hey look, subway tiles
I'm thinking B+, too much fun for the negatives to hold it down but too many negatives to hit the As's.
It would be interesting to see the remake that was supposed to happen until Tony Scott died, although research tells me none of the people involved on the creative side of the original wanted it to happen.