When a street gang attends a meeting of all the city’s gangs, their night turns into a fight to survive when they become the target of all the other gangs.
The preceding synopsis describes the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors,” as you probably already knew. But I bet that you didn’t know that a British movie called “The Purifiers” has the same synopsis. Filmmaker Richard Jobson wrote and directed this action-thriller about a martial arts club that clashes with the other martial arts clubs presiding over the city’s crime-riddled areas.
This 2004 homage to “The Warriors” breaks little new ground in storytelling, but some of the action sequences are creatively shot, at times using split screens that cycle into each other to transition to the next shot (You’d just have to see it). But I won’t go into the technical merits of this movie because my endorsement of it comes from a deeper source: my 12-year-old self.
I, like many other 12-year-old boys in the early- to mid-90s, was obsessed with martial arts. Bruce Lee posters, Black Belt magazines and kung fu movies were heavily sought-after materials back then. So combining the nostalgia that “The Purifiers” tapped into with my appreciation for “The Warriors” makes Jobson’s feature a win-win regardless of how derivative it is.
But wait! There’s more! Along with Dominic Monaghan (Lost), about whom I couldn’t care less, “The Purifiers” also stars Kevin McKidd as Moses, the overlord of the city’s underworld. Since the end of “Rome” and the unfortunate cancellation of NBC’s “Journeyman,” I’d been hoping to find some other cool projects that McKidd had worked on.* So it was nice to see the poor man’s Daniel Craig doing kung fu as the Cyrus of the United Kingdom.
So briefly, if you want to watch Lucius Vorenus do some kung fu along with some other good-looking, youngish British people, know that there are far worse ways to spend 85 minutes.
*”Grey’s Anatomy” doesn’t count as a cool project because I have no interest in watching it. Not even his involvement changes that.