Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this movie when it came out. I was fifteen, and the movie was
great. I still watch it every now and then, and it is still great but
for very different reasons. Back then, it was a glam violence thing. A
harder edge movie, a lot tougher than the other movies around at the
time simply because people were actually fighting in this one, instead
of shooting at one another or boxing politely. None of my friends who
saw it at the time devolved into a street fighter or a crime lord, so
the hype about this movie leading to the collapse of civilization as we
know it was obviously off the mark.
Even back then I could see that there were some not-so-wonderful moments in this film, but the thrills keep coming so fast and close that they suspend disbelief and it just works. Now, having seen a lot more movies during the years, I love it for different reasons. This movie takes its story seriously, for starters. While it has some mistakes, it avoids mistakes that abound now.
First of all, this movie has precious few Big Names. Made more recently it would be crewed by Sizemore, DeNiro, Pacino, Gibson, Berenger, Kilmer, Cruise and the other usual suspects. It would fall on its face under the weight of the stars assembled. Hollywood thinks more is better, including more stars. This is not the case (compare "Heat" with "Made in L.A." for an excellent example of this).
Everyone does not have a gun. Weapons are chains, lead pipes and bats. The guys do not accidentally find full auto weapons everywhere, and because of this there are very few shots fired. In "Lethal weapon", the police had no problem at all getting sniper- or full auto weaponry for a completely illegal bit of after hours freelancing. There are few enormous explosions, where cars, buses and trains jump around like bunnies and land on mysteriously deserted streets. Explosions are used as filler nowadays, so when the script falls short something blows up instead to keep viewers occupied.
There is no obvious wirework. No satellite tracking of our heroes, or other technology used as spackle over plot holes. No impossible stunts, apart from the fact that people simply cannot fight like that without getting seriously hurt (a one inch bruise after being hit with a bat? come on!). Apart from the too-over-the-top gang colors and some lines of dialogue very few things in this movie makes you cringe and say "that would NEVER happen!" because this is basically a believable movie, and that in turn makes Cyrus a lot more frightening. He was probably right; if these people could cooperate they really could take over the city, at least for a while. That struck a chord then and it strikes it now - the scum always outnumbers the good guys. They could easily don brown uniforms and a striking logo and overthrow everything sane and just, if they really put their minds to it. It's happened before.
Apart from the fact that it avoids making these latter day mistakes, the movie has a lot of great moments. The whole opening sequence with the trains and Barry DeVorzons pulsing music. Cyrus speech while cop cars sneak through the park like predators to squelch his vision of the future. The scene with the Baseball Furies coming over the hilltop like a pack of wolves, running without effort while our heroes puff and wheeze. The scene on the train with the "rich kids" on their way home and facing their bad side counterparts. Just about everything Luther does on screen. In a modern remake he would be costumed, rich and have exotic weapons or know arcane martial arts. Here, he is just a vicious thug who likes to mess with people, and unlike the Green Goblin he is scary because he could be anyone on the street. The incoming reports to Masai, who shows no emotion instead of howling and bouncing off the walls. Masai is five times scarier than this stereotype, just by sitting there waiting for his forces to wear the enemy down. And last but not least the faceless DJ, sending her messages to the "night shift" about where the Warriors are heading and what they are doing. These are great movie moments, scenes that do stick in your memory. Not like Travis Bickle talking to himself, perhaps, but several notches above the regular movie fare. This movie is sadly undervalued. Sure, it is a lot more B than A movie and it has hideous dialogue in places, but that goes for the first Star Wars too and few people claim that SW is a bad movie. The Warriors is a blast to watch, and a piece of film-making that younger directors should try to learn from.
I saw this on TV when I was sleepless and one of the movie channels ran
it as a late-late-late feature. I had not heard of it and was thus
completely unprepared for the humour and action, and ended up laughing
most of the time interspersed with out-loud reactions of "No way!" and
"Yeah!". Usually I do not talk to myself while watching movies, but
this one got me involved.
Depardieu plays Quentin, a less-than-smart crook who tries to be a robber. Reno plays Ruby, a very smart and very successful robber. They meet in prison where Ruby unwittingly manages to become Quentins best friend, and Quentin attaches himself like a lamprey to Ruby and simply will not let go. Quentin is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he really is not quite as stupid as people believe him to be. He brings a wild optimistic energy and naive world view to complement Rubys chess-player mind and ruthless methods.
The movie has a number of wonderful running gags, like the unending stream of damaged petty crooks picked up by the police who describe how they have run afoul of the Ruby/Quentin juggernaut as it works itself toward Rubys end goal. The movie has a fine balance of funny joke lines intermixed with fall-on-your-bum crudeness making it something for everyone. It also manages to pack in some suspense, as it is not at all obvious how this reverse Don Quijote-pair are going to fare in the end. In the middle of all the comedy people do get shot, and they stay shot.
Not a serious movie, not a masterpiece but I give it an 8 as a very nice way to spend an hour and a half. I have seen it twice more since the first time and it still cracks me up. Also, it really has great acting. Depardieus role here is so far from the one in "36 Quai des Orfevres" that it is hard to accept it is the same actor. Reno has done the Tough Guy a few hundred times before, but here he shows his comedy timing too. Recommended.
A contemporary journalist described Tim Page as a strange young man, who had the habit of running towards explosions and pillars of smoke and flame instead of from them. He was forever moving like a salmon against the stream of people. This willingness to take any risk is one of the things that set his pictures from Vietnam apart from the pictures by everyone else. As far as I know, this is the best account yet of what Tim Page was like, and that alone makes it a necessary watch. As a bonus, the series also tells a little something about The War. The Vietnam war in itself was bizarre enough, the drugs merely gave it more color. Frankie's House describes these less-than-ordinary times extremely well. The journalists, the hard-working professionals, the nutjobs, the careful pros staying behind in the hotel bar, the hookers and the ever-present military and "white mice" all get portrayed. The series describes a handful of very special people during a very special time, and for anyone interested in the Vietnam War it sits naturally next to Apocalypse Now and a handful of books (like Michael Herr's "Dispatches") that each tell a point of view of something too complex to sum up in a single volume.
A movie that really could have been a lot better. Not all that bad, but
far from good. Some of the cast have acting ability, but not all of
them are going at full power. Parts of the decor is convincing, but
quite a lot of it looks like plasterboard painted flat gray with some
extra symbols thrown on to make the whole look futuristic. Some effects
are very nice (the holographic display for instance) but some are
obviously made on a too-tight budget (the StriKlones) and a lot of them
are not at all necessary. The story could stand on its own without most
of the explosions.
The overall feeling is that if the makers had opted for an existing location instead of constructing one, some more money could have gone toward retakes and actor coaching. A lot of the techno-junk at the end could have been replaced with a straightforward (fire)fight with todays weaponry without sacrificing any of the tension and with much better end results. SF generally works just fine without death rays.
All in all, this film is OK if you are trapped in bed (the flu, hangover, terminal boredom) and need some entertainment that won't strain the brain too much. It never achieves "suspension of disbelief" which is crucial in a movie, so it mostly falls on its face when it comes to really grabbing you, and that's a shame since it easily could have been so much better. There is nothing really wrong with the scripted ideas, most of the crew is capable of much more than this and wiser spending would have resulted in a better film. I realize the backers want to see the money end up on the screen, but they should have focused on the acting instead of the "future" angle which really is incidental anyway.
Hollywood is always recycling stuff. Lets hope this movie gets remade some day, with different priorities.