Monday, February 19, 2007
Pauline Kael on "The Warriors"(1979)
Walter Hill’s spectacle takes its story from Xenophon’s “Anabasis” and its style from the taste of the modern urban dispossessed—in neon signs, graffiti, and the thrill of gaudiness. The film enters into the spirit of urban-male tribalism and the feelings of kids who believe that they own the streets because they keep other kids out of them. In this vision, cops and kids are all there is, and the worst crime is to be chicken. It has—in visual terms—the kind of impact that “Rock Around the Clock” had when it was played behind the titles of “Blackboard Jungle.” It’s like visual rock, and it’s bursting with energy. The action runs from night until dawn, and most of it is in crisp, bright Day-Glo colors against the terrifying New York blackness; the figures stand out like a jukebox in a dark bar. There’s a night-blooming, psychedelic shine to the whole baroque movie. Adapted from the Sol Yurick novel. Released in 1979.