The Ultimate Warrior (1975)

Article 3629 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-6-2011
Posting Date: 7-22-2011
Directed by Robert Clouse
Featuring Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles
Country: USA
What it is: After the apocalypse thriller

After a plague destroys most vegetation and animal life on Earth, the baron of a makeshift fortress in New York City recruits a fighting man ostensibly to help protect its residents from attacks by a well-organized gang of thugs. However, the baron has an ulterior motive; he wants the fighter to take a scientist’s new vegetable seed strain that is resistant to the plague out of the fortress to an island where the vegetation can thrive.

I quite like this “after the apocalypse” thriller that was made before they became fashionable, if for no other reason that it is quite different from how such movies would later turn out. Furthermore, I really like the performances of Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow and William Smith as the fighter, the baron, and the gang leader respectively. However, the movie has some problems that keep me from liking it more; it’s a little too dry and dull, the characters seem a little too well-dressed to make one feel it’s after the apocalypse, and there really aren’t very many sympathetic characters; I’m particularly disappointed at how the residents of the fortress are little better than the gang members. Still, there are good moments, and one very effective visual moment involving a reflection in a window.

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