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The Purifiers (2004) |

The Purifiers (2004)

Ok – this movie sucked me in with a simple idea – in the future Scotland’s cities are controlled by martial arts clubs. Yes – I said that right – Scots and martial arts in the same sentence.

That falls into the category of – WTF? Once I realized that someone from Lost was in it as well (Dominic Monaghan The hobbit – I mean heroin addict) I thought – this is either going to be great or the kind of crap that surfaces after someone gains any kind of notoriety.

Well I might as well put it out there – this movie is bad. It was so bad I kept wondering when it would punch through to totally awesome.

The story is lame. Even lamer because they basically ripped off The Warriors (Which I know ripped off an ancient Greek story). I mean if they had just set out to make a Scottish remake of the Warriors – I would have been ok with that – if for nothing more than the novelty of a remake of a cult hit – mixed with dudes in kilts kicking ass. But alas, they didn’t really go down that path.

They got close – there are clubs (gangs), they all have cool names (None as cool as the baseball clowns) , they go to a meeting with the main guy Moses (Cyrus). This is where the film from a story point goes off the tracks.

Look I’m going to spoil the movie for you. This is a good thing – since you should never ever see it because it is that terrible. In the Warriors Cyrus gets killed and the Warriors are blamed. In this film Moses is a bad guy. When the leader of the Purifiers rejects joining the new family to spread drugs and crime, Moses has all the clubs track the Purifiers and try to kill them.

This eliminates a lot of the fun of the Warriors. You root for them because they are falsely accused and out numbered. Constantly haunted by the voice on the radio.

In this movie, the undoing of the Purifiers is all their own doing. You see any single Purifier seems to be able to wipe out entire clubs, but they turn on each other. Dom (Lost dude) turns out to be a plant by Moses. One of the other characters is a cop (I’m not sure – they didn’t explain her betrayal very well).

So where Warriors has a gritty –
“I wonder if they will live” kind of thing going – this film has all the charm of a bunch of pasty white dudes with a hyperactive editor who literally cuts multiple shots of them saying the same word over and over again trying to take control of a city by any means involving punch and kicking people. I mean I know they don’t have guns in Scotland – but these are supposed to be bad guys…

Actually, that was one thing that I wondered how they would deal with. In the Warriors, it is all about getting back home. In this film, a number of exchanges happen via cell phone. You would think they would be able to call in re-enforcements – but since all the Purifiers are at the meeting there is no one to call.

I really should have know it would be total crap when the film starts out with a ode to the moon – literally – “The moon is like a bullet” or something. Then moves on to a mock battle between the Purifiers and some other club. Instead of making it seem like a good fight – by having painful foley noises – they opt for slow mo and bad music. If I wanted that I’d watch Hard Target.

Bottom Line: Martial arts are alive and well in Scotland. Film making is not – and this movie may explain why.

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