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Warriors Reviews

As invigorating as forced participation at a beer blast for aging survivalists, WARRIORS celebrates the macho-man ethos above all else. Sentenced to a maximum security facility where the soldier-inmates are given leaves of absence to slaughter for Uncle Sam, square-peg killer Frank Vail (Gary Busey) breaks out on a personal mission. A former cohort of Vail's, Capt. Colin Neal (Michael Pare), is briefed by his superior to bring back the rogue military-man, dead or alive. Conflicted over his government's disposable-soldier mentality, Neal reluctantly questions Vail s fellow operatives. Aware that Neal is following his trail, Vail knocks him out and hits the road with a prostitute named Jody (Wendii Fulford). Jody points him toward a drug lair, where he is able to steal a car. Threatened by Internal Security officers, who want him to step up his trackdown, Neal presses forward. While Vail reveals that post-traumatic stress disorder from Vietnam led him to commit the hometown, peacetime massacre that sealed his fate as a killer, Neal zeroes in on his target until the wily Vail shoots down a power line on Neal's armored van. After a showdown on moving railroad conveyances, Neal lets Jody go and meets Vail at a mountain retreat. Despite a siege by the death squad from the jail, Neal plants himself squarely on Vail's side. Reconciled with his dying dad, who had pressed him into soul-destroying military service, Vail gives his father the Viking funeral he had promised him. Presumably, both Vail and Neal will have a lot of explaining to do if they ever encounter their superiors again. WARRIORS offers audiences the first funeral-pyre-on-water scene since the equally loony ROCKET GIBRALTER. Aside from that weird anti-climax, this routine mayhem hardly erases memories of THE DIRTY DOZEN. Gratuitous brutality is offset by dull stretches of narrative that suggest a sedated editor or a subversive screenwriter. Playing upon fear of the US government's disrespect for out-to-pasture soldiers, this tedious chase flick suggest that war is an employment opportunity sorely missed in some quarters. In this movie's psychotic mind-set, prisons house elite criminal corps that continue to do the Pentagon's death squad bidding; the key point is that war is a state-of-being, and that any kind of war (even one directed at our own ruling bodies) is preferable to none at all. Die-hard action buffs looking for muscular direction and nail-biting suspense will come up empty here. The personnel behind and the stars onscreen seen bored by their own souped-up contrivances in WARRIORS; it's as if they subconsciously resented their own hackdom to the point of noticeable lethargy.(Graphic violence, sexual situations, substance abuse, extreme profanity.)