The plot of The Warriors is pretty straightforward: a truce gone wrong followed by lots of fighting. It is a rather simple and exploitative storyline, which has prompted the critics (of that time) to say that the movie is confusing, ludicrous and pointless (I am not even talking about the acting and the dialogue of the film).
However, there is a lot of depth to The Warriors, depth which could have been seen even in the names of the characters (each one symbolizes something and is a reference to a historical character). Such is Cyrus, most likely named after the real Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian Empire (around 600 BC) after conquering all the Near East civilized states.
In the film, he is the one that calls for the truce between the gangs, with the sole purpose of uniting all of them, taking down the cops and running New York. It is a rather similar story which should be taken into consideration.
But the thing is that The Warrior’s plot isn’t about fighting for a reason or another. Of course, it may appear so, with the gangs fighting for their lives, or for a territory, or out of pride. But this is just the surface of the things. If you scratch a little further, you can realize that fighting is the natural order and peace is just an anomaly.
If this sounds a bit familiar, then you are probably thinking also about the ancient philosopher Heraclitus, who said that fire is the beginning of all things. In other words, fire is the engine that makes the world turn. And with Heraclitus is a known fact that fire wasn’t just taken in its literal understanding (he wasn’t called a naturalist philosopher for nothing), but also as a metaphor. Fire was, in fact, war. And war was, in fact, changing.
Of course, in here a small commentary should be made – war isn’t necessary the one fought on the field, with weapons, but also the one that brings equilibrium to the world, much like tension makes the string of a bow fire an arrow without breaking the string.
This is a tragic story, because fire/war eventually consumes all, even those that have initiated it. Thus, Cyrus wanted to unite the gangs with a greater purpose in mind. But he is killed. He dies without any explanations. Nobody is in control and nobody will ever be.
Hastily, we can say that this was just an action that would get the film started. But if we consider just a little all that was said above, the murder becomes something else.