HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  13th Warrior, The Norse Of The Year Show
Year: 1999
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Vladimir Kulich, Dennis Storhoi, Diane Venora, Anders T. Andersen, Richard Bremmer, Tony Curran, Omar Sharif, Mischa Hausserman, Neil Mafin, Asbjorn Riis, Clive Russell, Daniel Southern, John DeSantis, Kristen Cloke
Genre: Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Antonio Banderas) was living a comfortable life in tenth century Arabia when he was unfortunate enough to fall in love with the wife of a rich and powerful man. One thing led to another, and Ahmed was made ambassador to the lands of the North, effectively exiling him to Europe, where he made friends with a translator and guide, Melchisidek (Omar Sharif) who he accompanied on the long excursions. They were most afraid of the Tartars, and one day it looked as if they would be attacked by a party of them, but oddly they stopped in their tracks. The reason? A longboat filled with Vikings heading down the nearby river, men who Ahmed would soon be getting to know very well - as long as they didn't kill him...

This adaptation of co-producer Michael Crichton's novel Eaters of the Dead, a Beowulf variation, took a long and unhappy journey to get to the screen, and when it arrived it was a muted welcome that awaited it. However, over the years since its release it attracted a growing number of fans, perhaps starved of the kind of old school historical epic filled with flying swords and manly men that The 13th Warrior depicted. The script was written by William Wisher and Warren Lewis, but the production was forced to endure costly rewrites, reshoots and a long delay before it was finished to the studio's satisfaction.

Antonio Banderas may have made for a good Zorro, but here he's supposed to be a learned man (Ahmed was a real, historical writer, a point that is simply thrown away like much of the accuracy) plunged into a rough and alien world, and as far as that goes he stands out as the character with the most personality. The initial scenes resemble an anthroplogical documentary with Sharif narrating (or translating, if you prefer) for the benefit of Ahmed and for us as well. We get a brief outline of the Viking way of life, as Ahmed wants to speak to the band's king, only to find that he has died, giving us the chance to see a Viking funeral of legend.

Events take a turn towards the main plotline when a soothsayer shows up, casts some bones and announces that thirteen warriors should head off home to do battle with a mysterious new threat that has been decimating the local villages. So what we are offered is really a retread of the old Seven Samurai story, The Thirteen Samurai if you will, or The Twelve Norsemen and the One Arab because Ahmed is ordered to go along as well (it said so in the bones!). So Sharif is left behind and off our heroes sail towards Scandinavia, all set to bring down the menace.

When they reach their destination the joking and drinking stops as they discover at an impoverished village that the Wendol, as the heavies are called, could be some form of animal men and most sobering, they eat their victims. The thirteen then do their best to arm and defend the village against these villains, with all the murkily shot battle sequences you could want, but with almost every male character interchangeable, you increasingly hang onto Banderas for some kind of route into the action. Highlights include a raid on the Wendol's underground lair, as they fashion themselves after bears, and the ashen faced heroism comes across well enough, but the film doesn't enjoy enough in the way of innovation to really make its mark. For uncomplicated adventure, however, it is satisfactory - certainly better than that for its fans - but this time a little more complication would have been of benefit. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12388 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John McTiernan  (1951 - )

American producer and director with a flair for action blockbusters. After self-written horror Nomads, he hit the big time with three successes: Predator, Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October, but after two flops, Medicine Man and Last Action Hero, he returned to familiar territory in Die Hard With A Vengeance. Subsequent films include the troubled The 13th Warrior and two remakes, a fair attempt at The Thomas Crown Affair, and a disastrous one at Rollerball.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: