The Warriors (Ultimate Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
Ultimate Director's Cut
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A framed Coney Island street gang must run a gauntlet of theme gangs to reach their own turf. Directed by Walter Hill.
The Warriors combines pure pulp storytelling and surprisingly poetic images into a thoroughly enjoyable cult classic. The plot is mythically pure (and inspired by a legendary bit of Greek history): When a charismatic gang leader is shot at a conclave in the Bronx meant to unite all the gangs in New York City, a troupe from Coney Island called the Warriors get blamed and have to fight all the way back to their own turf--which means an escalating series of battles with colorful and improbable gangs like the Baseball Furies, who wear baseball uniforms and KISS-inspired face make-up. Pop existentialism, performances that are somehow both wooden and overwrought, and zesty, kinetic filmmaking from director Walter Hill (Southern Comfort, 48 Hrs.) result in a delicious and unexpectedly resonant operatic cheesiness. The Ultimate Director's Cut doesn't radically alter the movie--some of the editing is tighter, the Greek legend has been added as an introduction--with one exception: in transitions, scenes begin and end as scenes from a comic book. While The Warriors always had a comic book flavor (and Hill, in an interview, says he deliberately pursued that sensibility), this device--similar to The Hulk--seems a bit overkill. But it's a minor problem; the movie holds its own, even 26 years later. --Bret Fetzer
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