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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.62%
Average: 2.59%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 2.59%

5 reviews, 86 user ratings

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Warriors, The
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by Brian McKay

"A Classic, Made More So - Can You Dig It?"
5 stars

(This review is specific to THE WARRIORS: ULTIMATE DIRECTOR'S CUT). There's a school of thought that classic films should never be tampered with. Lovingly preserved, yes, but never altered in any signifigant way from the original. And until recently, I belonged to that school of thought, dismissing the colorization of old Black and White films, or the CGI sugarcoating of the first STAR WARS trilogy. But then I saw Walter Hill's re-envisioning of his 1979 classic, THE WARRIORS.

As Hill explains in a brief introduction, the Director's Cut of WARRIORS is the way in which he originally envisioned the film - as a living graphic novel. Subsequently, the film contains both a new introduction and several animated transition panels that fade in and out seamlessly with the live action sequences to create a smoothly flowing narrative. Likewise, the film has been painstakingly restored and enhanced with the addition of a vibrant color scheme, further adding to the "comic book" atmosphere.

Beginning with a voice-over introduction that tells the tale of a small band of ancient Greek soldiers trapped a thousand miles behind enemy lines, it quickly segues to a title card that declares the film's setting to be "Sometime in the Future . . ." From there, the film picks up where most long-time viewers will remember - with various members of street gang The Warriors riding the subway towards a huge secret gang conference (although it can't remain a secret for long with thousands of brightly-dressed gang members in attendance).

The conference has been called by Cyrus (Roger Hill), leader of the Gramercy Riffs, the city's biggest gang. Cyrus has a vision to unite all of the gangs in the New York City area, allowing them to greatly outnumber the police as they run amok committing crimes and gaining control through bribery and intimidation. Cyrus's chants of "Can you dig it?" enthrall the crowd, but Luther (David Patrick Kelly), the sleazy leader of the Rogues, has other plans. After assasinating Cyrus with a smuggled handgun and sending the crowd into a panic, he quickly blames the Warriors for the killing, since one of their members actually witnessed Luther pulling the trigger.

After their leader, Cleon (Dorsey Wright) is captured by the Riffs, The Warriors soon discover that they are being hunted by every gang in the city for Cyrus's murder. They have until dawn to get to their home turf and, hopefully, clear their name - and they will have to "bop" all the way back.

Although the cool-headed Swan (Michael Beck) emerges as the new leader, he does so over the objections of the belligerent Ajax (James Remar). They also pick up Mercy (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) along the way, a trash-talking party girl who ignites sparks with the reluctant Swan.

The beauty of a film like THE WARRIORS lies in both its simplicity and its over-the-top flamboyance. Gang members in this world wear colorful matching outfits ala CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Mime costumes, zoot suits, baseball uniforms, Karate Gi's - every gang has a theme and a costume to fit it. Sure, it's silly and fantastical - but in the world that Hill has created, it all works. The story itself is simplicity defined - all it is is nine guys trying to make their way home, with the seeds of a love story sown between Swan and Mercy. So why does this movie rock so fucking hard?

For one, the characters are all likable and unique. Even if the acting is laughably bad at times, the characters still radiate an aura of coolness, especially the bad-ass Swan, who seems to have ice water in his veins. For another, the fight scenes still hold up quite well after 25 years, as the Warriors slug their way home with fists and baseball bats (the subway station men's room brawl is, quite simply, Epic). But it is the film's themes of brotherhood and courage that resonate the most. These same themes, which have worked so well in films like THE SEVEN SAMURAI or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, have a universal appeal that is difficult to deny.

Plus it's often very funny, with Remar's Ajax providing the bulk of memorable one-liners. One could start a Warriors drinking game based on how many times he makes a comment about "wimps" or "faggots".

Visually stunning and emotionally gripping, THE WARRIORS is a classic that, after a quarter-century, has finally recieved the loving finishing touches that it so rightly deserves. In addition, the director's cut DVD conains a full director's commentary, cast interviews, deleted scenes, and four "making of" featurettes. All for only $14.99 at Best Buy. WARRIOR fans - Come out to play!

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originally posted: 06/01/06 03:06:12
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User Comments

11/04/17 Outspeaker reminds me of the Chicago I grew up in, back in the 1940s. 5 stars
10/04/17 Maurizio I dug it ! 4 stars
4/24/17 David H. A little trite, but still a great time capsule of late '70s New York. 4 stars
6/16/13 RS Eerie view of a frightening NYC scene-over the top, but engaging. 4 stars
9/11/11 Rob Great action, great soundtrack, even if it is silly. 4 stars
11/08/10 Luke One of the best HORROR movies of all time... 5 stars
6/27/09 okgatsby A cult classic pulp joyride. If this doesn't rock you bopper then take off your colors. 5 stars
3/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess ACTION-PACKED!!!! 4 stars
7/26/08 Ace I don't know...I just like doing things like that 5 stars
6/13/08 DM It's silly but entertaining - and James Remar looks hot. 4 stars
4/19/08 Karrie Millheim I LOVE THIS MOVIE, old school gangs and a great story 5 stars
3/09/08 Bubba O'Reilly I like it, but... FOR GOSH SAKES, SOMEBODY HAIL A CAB!!! 4 stars
1/27/08 Jeffrey Gardner Watch this with Streets of Fire for the full 80's dystopian effect 5 stars
10/25/07 Andre original, & beautiful on blu-ray 4 stars
10/20/07 Roger Ebert You either like it or you don't. What else needs to be said? 4 stars
8/13/07 andrew gerges can u digit,can you digit,CANYOU DIGGIT!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/15/07 specialK i've been wanting to see it since '79....i'm sorry but this was total crap. 1 stars
6/20/07 Mick My fav' film of all time - a masterpiece. 5 stars
6/17/07 David Cohen A suspenseful and engaging thriller 4 stars
4/18/07 Mandrakegray The greatest CULT film of all time. A classic. Period. Can You Dig It? 5 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini kinda dull 3 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan lame silly adaption of sol yuricks far better and realistic book-movie pales to the book 2 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller The Coney boppers still get it done over 20 years later; they're not good, they're the best 5 stars
1/13/07 Tank Murdoch The Orphans were thebaddest gang,thats why the warriors ran from them! They're chickenshits 1 stars
9/19/06 Dan Weiss A great film from virgin actors. Ajax was the best. 5 stars
8/01/06 Joe CAAAAAAAAN YOOOOOOOOOU DIG IT?!? I sure as hell do. 4 stars
6/04/06 michael Come out and play definatly worth watching 5 stars
6/02/06 San Lamar i say take a look 4 stars
6/01/06 Bails Still as fresh now as the first time i saw it! A true classic 5 stars
4/22/06 ted lindsay greatest action film ever can you dig it 5 stars
4/05/06 Ajax If I was warlord we would have all made it back alive! Swan and Cleon went fagget! Wimps! 2 stars
3/24/06 Sugarfoot One of Hill's greatest movies. 5 stars
2/10/06 Dave Fucken Awesome shit, 5 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman warriors come out and playyyyyyyyyaayyy 4 stars
12/02/05 George a beautiful film,you just root for these warriors from start to finish 4 stars
11/23/05 C Vega a surpingly brilliant movie....DO NOT REMAKE THIS CLASSIC! 5 stars
10/21/05 Wisamane wow i didnt know the movie was made in the 70's it looked like from the 90's! amazing Fx! 5 stars
10/07/05 Curtis My favorite film, even the trailer kicks, over the top costumes, but there be tigers here 5 stars
6/05/05 Dave A fast pace film that keeps you entertained even if it has weaknesses. 4 stars
4/26/05 Trinere Tes performs Warriors live soundtrack set ! ! ! 5 stars
1/27/05 tatum Gangbangers a little TOO stylish; still rewarding 4 stars
1/24/05 Jeff Anderson WALTER HILL'S TRUE MASTERPIECE! Please, I beg you, do NOT remake this film! You'll be sorry 5 stars
1/03/05 bill jingle the movie is so sweet, ODB RIP 5 stars
5/20/04 Proteus from Warriors to 321 Contact for two cast members. Astonishingly fun. 5 stars
1/28/04 LIAM JACKSON great movie.the best scene is when cyrus is shot. it's so funny when he gets killed. 5 stars
12/19/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. "THE GODFATHER" of gang movies. Best gang: The Lizzies. 5 stars
11/28/03 john one of the best action movies ever made 5 stars
9/27/03 Alan Far more style than substance, but when it has this much style................ 4 stars
9/25/03 Stefan Halka Who ever a thought a plot about a gang trying to get back could be such a good watch? 4 stars
9/09/03 Laura Stuart James Remar Is So hot in this one! If you don't like this movie you suck 5 stars
8/30/03 Christian Adair Mann One of my favorite movies! Great action scenes! Kind of far-fetched, but great fun. 5 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Stylish and suspenseful, but it's still pretty cliched. 4 stars
10/21/02 Stacey Ouch. 2 stars
7/12/02 KMG's time to playay.... 5 stars
6/11/02 TLsmooth Inpired me to found The Crips. 5 stars
4/06/02 Tantive7 The People's opinion is, Awesome!! Nuff Said.. The critics are wrong in the end. THE BEST!! 5 stars
1/16/02 Ringer(big dog) A stunning,fantastic film AWESOME!!!!! 5 stars
11/14/01 King James One of the best ever 5 stars
11/13/01 marmy the best 5 stars
8/01/01 Allan Awesome, gripping, Swann's my man 5 stars
7/06/01 Bobby Hill Critics of this satire are clueless. The acting is in the movement: I can dig it! 5 stars
6/24/01 joelee Stylized violence & great art direction make up for hokey story. 4 stars
6/03/01 Tbone Awesome!!! one of my favorites of all time. 5 stars
4/28/01 Doug This must be a very old site COOL MOVIE THOUGHAus 4 stars
4/23/01 Skip Young I know it's highly revered, but it's never done anything for me. 2 stars
4/21/01 ReservoirDog2001 the greatest movie i ever saw 5 stars
3/06/01 Wanja Seifert Can you dig it??? 5 stars
2/02/01 ray pua a fukin well thought up movie for a film that was filmed in 79,this is the best gang movies 5 stars
12/23/00 irfan mirza entertaining and violent 5 stars
10/18/00 Will Marks Totally Brilliant 5 stars
9/26/00 Paul This movie makes you want to join a gang and kick butt! 5 stars
7/30/00 Rogue Librarian Best "Gotta fight every theme-oriented street gang" movie ever! 5 stars
7/06/00 francisco ponce all a chant to virility, 5 stars
6/28/00 HUSKER IN MY TOP FIVE OF ALL TIME!!! 5 stars
3/06/00 Neil Hawkins This film rocks, shout "CAN YOU DIG IT" on the vinegar stroke 5 stars
3/05/00 juan jaramillo GREAT MOVIE! MICHAEL BECK'S AWESOME 5 stars
8/23/99 Cyrus This film is brilliant! 5 stars
7/27/99 Pete Rios This movie ROCKS! 5 stars
4/13/99 Jon Jackson I stumbled on this movie by accident, it's a lot of fun, I can dig it! 5 stars
2/01/99 Original Gangsta word. this movie rocked. cool how they portrayed the NYPD as yet another gang 5 stars
11/29/98 Mike F SHIT! 1 stars
11/25/98 little jerry Poor Man's Kubrick.Hill's little known HARD TIMES[aka.The Streetfighter] is much better. 3 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob 'No reason...I just like doin' things like that!' 5 stars
9/28/98 Brandon B. Hillarious Broadway dancers portray long island gangs. 5 stars
9/17/98 Chuck-D this movie rules - campy 70's gang fun 5 stars
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  09-Feb-1979 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



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