Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Ultimate Warrior (1975)

Director: Robert Clouse

Writer: Robert Clouse

Composer: Gil Melle

Starring: Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles, William Smith, Richard Kelton, Stephen McHattie, Darrell Zwerling, Lane Bradbury, Nate Esformes, Mel Novak, Mickey Caruso, Gary Johnson, Susan Keener, Stevie Myers, Fred Slyter, Regis Parton, Larry Bischof, Pat E. Johnson, Henry Kingi, Alex Colon

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A Film of the Future

Plot:  Only a few people still live in New York in 2012. They are organized in gangs with their own turf. One of them is led by Baron, another one by Carrot, and they are constantly at war with each other. Baron's gang is more peaceful and have developed seeds that can germinate despite the nuclear fallout. The lone ranger Carson is hired by Bishop for protection.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Honestly, I was expecting a lot worse.  You'll probably dig this a little if you're into Brenner, Smith or von Sydow.  I really dug what happened to von Sydow's character.  It was an interesting turn of events that adds more than just mindless action and plot to this flick written and directed by the same cat who brought us the excellent ENTER THE DRAGON (1973).  Smith plays the bad guy (surprise!) and as usual, he's underutilized.  It's a pretty standard post-apocalyptic flick that's saved by the three leads I mentioned. The fight at the end between Smith and Brenner isn't as epic as it should have been but it is fun and how it ends is pretty fucking awesome except that you'll immediately realize a couple of ways Brenner could've avoided his little sacrifice.  Is it me or does Yul Brenner wear black in all of his action roles?  The score feels like it's written for TV which doesn't come as a surprise as Melle almost exclusively wrote for TV.   It's an OK movie but if you lower your expectations it's even better.

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