Last two watches...
My main memory of The Warriors (1979) is of a drawing my older brother was making back in the early 80's. He had either the LP record or a flyer for the film with the crowd of gang members, and was drawing it on one of his notebooks. I never saw the film and I never worried much about it, but for some reason, I decided to check it out two days ago.
The gathering in the poster I mentioned occurs in the first 15 minutes of the film, when the leader of one of the main NYC gangs cites all the other gangs to a conclave in the Bronx to propose a truce and a union. Unfortunately, he ends up dead and the Warriors, a gang from Coney Island, are framed for the murder by the real killer.
Stuck in the Bronx without their leader and with a hit put out against them, the Warriors have to rely in their second-in-command, Swan (Michael Beck) in a race against time to reach their home turf while all the other gangs are on the look for them.
To be honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. The setting of the group of outsiders stuck in a strange place helped, but also the plot remained simple most of the time. Also, the performances were all quite solid. I really didn't care for some of the detours the Warriors took on their way (like being joined by Mercy, and their meeting with the Lizzies), but other than that, this was a pretty good film.
A Twitter friend described Bone Tomahawk (2015) to me as: "slow and methodical for quite awhile... and then, suddenly, everything kinda explodes". After watching it last night, I can't help but agree with his statement.
Bone Tomahawk starts in the town of Bright Hope, where Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell) does his best to keep peace and order. But when a group of "savages" kidnap a deputy and the wife of a resident, Hunt and a group of three set out on a rescue mission.
The film indeed starts slow and methodical, with little to no action during the first hour while the characters and their personalities are established. But this is not a slight to it. Rookie director S. Craig Zahler does more than a fine job with the script, keeping the dialogue interesting and lively, and with a steady and confident direction.
This great set-up works well for when things "explode" in the last act, because it helps us care about each character while also giving credibility to their decisions. And although I've read some people criticize the "shift" into horror-like territory, I thought it was perfectly appropriate given the setting.
All in all, Bone Tomahawk isn't without flaws. I do think the length (a little over 2 hours) could've been trimmed a bit, and the very, very ending felt a bit anti-climatic. But regardless of that, it was a perfectly fine Western thriller with some great performances, a nice script, and a solid direction.