HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  13th Warrior, The Norse Of The Year ShowBuy this film here.
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, Adventure
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 9182 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: