Dub Cee Reviews: The Warriors (1979)

Director: Walter Hill

Writer(s): Sol Yurick (novel), David Shaber (screenplay), Walter Hill (screenplay) 

Sometimes the opening of a movie can make or break my designs on watching it. For example, I recently tried watching Kalifornia. While Brad Pitt was interesting, David Duchovony was bland and Juliette Lewis annoyed the piss outta me in about 15 minutes. I never finished the movie and finally just sent it back to Netflix. The opening of The Warriors is well done. Within the first 2 minutes we are introduced to some of the principal characters and we learn of the reason the events of the movie will be taking place. Three main ideas are introduced here.

1. The Truce – WE learn all the gangs in quite old New York have a truce. Not an alliance but just a truce. The reason for the gathering is that Cyrus, leader of the Gramercy Riffs, hands down the most powerful of the gangs, has proposed and alliance. 9 members of each gang will meet in Van Cortlandt Park. The Warriors travel to the meeting via El train from Coney Island.

2. Cyrus is respected and revered rather than just feared but the other gangs. I couldn’t help but compare him to the legend of Pontiac. Pontiac was on the verge of merging all the Native American tribes into one true nation with him as its leader. He was killed under the flag of truce, as Cyrus is.

3. We also see that each gang has its own gimmick. I don’t just mean matching colors or slanted hats. I mean Running Man Stalkers, WWE, gimmicks. The most iconic being The Baseball Furies, who all wield bats and wear pinstriped baseball uniforms.

That's one pissed off Pirates fan!

The story is fairly simple. Cyrus, as I stated early, is murdered during the meeting. The Warriors flee as the cops swarm but unknown to them they are accused of killing Cyrus thus breaking the truce. So now, unknown to them, literally every gangbanger in NYC wants them dead. Of course they cannot go to the cops because, well, ya know, they are a gang themselves. Some of the members make some stupid choices, like trying to “make it” with a girl on a park bench with all these guys chasing them. Again, at this point they do not know they have been accused of the murder.

Oh shit, I forgot, the man accusing them is a Coney Island rival named Luther played by… DAVID PATRICK KELLY! He gets the infamous line, “Warriors…come out and pla-ay!” Points!

*clink, clink* "Warriors, come out and play!"

While I am thinking of it, be sure to take note of Lynne Thigpen (Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego) as the DJ. And no, the guy playing the hothead Ajax is NOT the same actor who is the boss on Monk. Trust me, I already checked.

Overall, while I understand why this movie is considered a classic, I thought it was rather boring. Part of the problem is the story has been done to death. From Running Man (which I have previously reviewed), to Judgement Night (which I am reviewing next) to Hard Target (decent Van Damm flick) to Surviving the Game (my personal favorite of the human prey style movies). Maybe The Warriors was the first to do this? I am not a film historian but seeing as how it was released in 1979 I highly doubt it.

Grade: C+ (due to the casting of David Patrick Kelly….worth one full notch of a grade.)

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4 Responses to “Dub Cee Reviews: The Warriors (1979)”

  1. Damned copy and paste, the font is all jacked up. Sorry about that…changed some of my stuff into typos too. Will fix…maybe…someday.

  2. The Warriors is obviously going to seem dated now, but it is a classic B Movie from it’s time. It’s not quite Grindhouse but definitely not A material. It’s supposed to be sort of reminesent of westerns or WWII movies like the Guns of Navarrone. I’d say it definitely fits as a contemporary urban western and obviously isn’t supposed to fit within the actual gang culture of 70’s New York. It’s hyperstylzied fantasy. You bring up a lot of movies that came after it, but they are the ones that obviously borrowed from the Warriors and not vice versa. It’s not the first of it’s kind, but it’s one of the coolest. You have to recognize the warriors for what it is and it’s time period and give it it’s due for that.

  3. Yeah, not to dogpile here, but I have to wildly disagree with your summation. The Warriors is a classic film and one of my favorites from its time period. Tick pretty much nailed it on the head and said everything I was going to say. I would take The Warriors over The Running Man any day, though that’s not to say I didn’t like The Running Man. The Warriors is just boss.

  4. I must not have done a good enough job of explaing myself in the review. I understand why its considered a classic, I just didnt enjoy it. Tick you have a valid point that I watched the movie from a slightly off vanatage point. In that I did not take into account, that while I have seen the list of movies before it, The Warriors, existed before those. So, bad llama.

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