The Warriors are about to have their climactic battle. Can you dig it?
2) The Warriors vs The Punks
- The Warriors, or at least the six remaining. In addition to Swan, Snow and Cowboy from before (Ajax was arrested for attempting to rape an undercover female cop not long after the last fight), we have:
- Cochise, another able fighter and a guy with some fashionable head choices. Played by David Harris.
- Vermin, one of the less impressive Warriors. Played by Terry Michos.
- Rembrandt, the smallest and seemingly the youngest of the Warriors. He’s also their resident graffiti artist (hence the name). Played by Marcelino Sánchez.
- Mercy, a troublesome street girl who abandoned the mediocre “Orphans” gang to roll with the Warriors earlier (and has since developed a weird relationship with Swan), is also on hand, and contributes a small bit. Played by Deborah Van Valkenburgh.
- The Punks– yes, that’s their name. Somehow managing to look more laughable than the Baseball Furies’ “clowns in sports outfit” thing, the Punks’ uniform is long-sleeved striped shirts underneath full overalls. They’re supposed to be tough inner-city New Yorkers but they look more like prep-school jocks dressing like farm hands for a tacky Halloween party. Oh, and a couple of them are wearing roller skates. They do have an assortment of bats, knives & chains, so there’s that.
The Setup: The disparate Warriors have finally re-united at Union Square Station, but soon discover they’re being tailed by several Punks (when they finally gather it ends up being nine). Ever the savvy tactician, Swan guides his crew into a men’s room and waits for them to follow.
The Punks enter to find two rows of closed stalls, and one scout begins to methodically search each door while the rest either block the exit or take up positions in front of other stalls. But one of the first doors checked reveals Rembrandt, who swiftly raises his can of spray paint and lets the Punk have it right in the face.
The other Warriors take that as their cue to bust out en masse, and the brawl begins immediately.
The Fight: Pure chaos.
Basically, everything happens at once. Much like the last fight, it’s hard to provide a blow-by-blow, but even more so– instead of three-on-five, now it’s six-against-nine, and in a more confined space to boot. But amidst the insanity, there’s a vague progression of the Warriors’ slow crawl to victory, even if things are dire enough it looks like they could lose. And as frantic as it is, you still get a definite sense for how each of the protagonists is doing, and nearly everyone gets at least one memorable moment.
(It’s not perfect, however– there’s one edit of Snow having, then losing, then suddenly having his bat again, that’s particularly noticeable. But absolute perfection is a big ask in a scene with this many moving pieces, especially on Hill’s low budget.)
Cowboy breaks his bat with a tough swing against one opponent, as does Snow towards the end. Despite his dirty pool with the graffiti, the tiny Rembrandt gets taken down early. Vermin gets in some good hits but gets thrown nastily into the mirrors above the sink.
Cochise pulls off a brutal-looking, wrestling-type move when he puts a Punk in a side headlock and runs that head straight into a wall. Later he chokes another Punk with his own chain and flips forward bodily. Snow seems to be a particular MVP, getting in lots of cool karate moves on multiple opponents (Brian Tyler was a practiced martial artist at the time of filming). Even Mercy helps out a little bit.
Swan dishes out a lot of punishment, but takes a lot as well, at one point getting ganged up on by two assailants. But it all works out for him in the end– indeed, whenever Swan or any other Warrior starts looking rough, a teammate is usually nearby to swoop in and help. It’s clear these guys have had a lot of practice kicking ass together.
The leader actually gets in the last blow of the fight, diverting a charging punk’s momentum into a throw that sends him crashing through a stall door. Warriors 2, New York 0.
Again, we see the amazing skill (both in the actual fight and quiet tactics that set it up) which make the Warriors so formidable (“Good. Real good” you might say), but this time in an even more intense and brutal setting. There’s a palpable excitement to this fight that’s hard to convey, but it really does work on all levels. Epic without being flashy.
Recommended Links: A who’s who of the Warriors and the rest of the cast, complete with optional Where Are They Now.
Coming Attractions: Confusion conclusion.