Antonio Banderas (THE MASK OF ZORRO) brings huge star power to an immensely thrilling action-adventure from the hit-making director of DIE HARD and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR! An exiled ambassador far from his homeland, Ahmed... more » (Banderas) comes across a fierce band of warriors who are being attacked by ferocious creatures legendary for devouring all living things in their path! And when an old fortune-teller warns the combatants that they are doomed to failure without a 13th warrior, Ahmed is given no choice but to join their battle and help conquer the mysterious enemy! Suspenseful and endlessly exciting, this exhilarating hit is sure to thrill anyone who enjoys action on an epic scale!« less
Steve D. (Racepro) from LITHIA, FL Reviewed on 8/4/2011...
Antonio Banderas is totally awesome in this bizzare mix of an Arab Ambassador to the Northern Barbarrians who are morning the loss of their King. While in the North, he ebds up in a fierce battle with his Norsemen friends against a very formidable foe.
Considered a box office failure, This is an awesome fantasy style movie!!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Karen D. (Tazabeau) from KEENE, NH Reviewed on 1/2/2011...
I love this movie! Banderas is an Arab sent to be an emissary with the Norsemen, and is included in a group prevailed upon to aid a town beseiged by evil. Based on Michael Crichtons "Eaters of the Dead". Action, adventure, no gratuitous sex, with strong acting from many Scandanavian actors.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lisa J. (farmdog) from ATLANTA, GA Reviewed on 4/4/2008...
This is a rather unknown, but GREAT movie. It is in my never-to-be-swapped pile, and I've watched it at least a dozen times. I know, it sounds cheesy: Antonio Banderas as an Arab who ends up with a bunch of Vikings hunting mysterious monsters preying on a Dark Ages Nordic village. Really is a re-telling of the Beowulf saga, and has a lot of rich imagery, surprisingly good acting from some good European actors as the Vikings, and a pretty good script. Based on Michael Crichton novel, which wasn't very good.
8 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wonderful movie....mediocre DVD...
Xeneri | 07/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the film version of Michael Crichton's book EATERS OF THE DEAD. Told through the eyes of a young Arab ambassador Ahmahd ibn Fahdalan (Antonio Banderas) this is basically a retelling of one of literature's classic epics, Beowulf. Fahadalan is banished from his homeland for loving the wrong woman. On his journeys he meets up with some Norsemen and joins their encampment (look for Omar Sheriff in a small part as Translater.)When they hear of trouble on one of their lands, the norsemen consult their oracle who tells them that 13 warriors must confront the evil (and of course the 13th chosen man must not come from the north). Thus Fahdalan is coerced into joining their ranks. What follows is a thrilling action/adventure Beowulf style as the group tries to battle against insurmountable odds to defeat the cannabilistic "Eaters of the Dead". Besides from being well written adventure, it is a wonderful glimpse into norse culture and mythology. John McTiernan shows us a time filled with brave but very human characters where fealty to your lord and land meant everything -- where fighting for the greater good was more important than any one man's life. This is a story of courage and survival that is at times mesmeririzing to watch.It's main weakness is that it was unanble to fit in all the nuances and relationshop complexities that the book described so well. Many key definative moments and characterizations (most notably the cultures of the norsemen and their relationship with their new arab "little brother") are lost or edited out. This I believe was not so much the fault of the director but of the studio who rushed to get the film released. My other complaint is with the DVD version of the film, which SHOULD have included an audio commentary of some kind, and preferably some of the deleted scenes which would have developed the film more thoroughly. This it is worth seeing for fans of epic adventure and mythology. Here's hoping for a Director's cut of The 13th Warrior to be released soon....."
What happened to "The 13th Warrior?"
Chris K. Wilson | Dallas, TX United States | 02/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Film director John McTiernan's "The 13th Warrior" is such a frustrating film. There's much to love about this robust viking epic, including a handful of terrific actors with an appealing presence, excellent period detail, memorable battle sequences and a fantastic musical score by the always-dependable Jerry Goldsmith. But why did the studio editors have to cut this film to pieces?! When watching this action movie, any viewer with half a brain can tell that multiple scenes must have been left on the cutting room floor. Supporting characters disappear without a trace, continuity is fragmented and illogical, the ending is abrupt and unsatisfying. At one point the vikings are traveling by ship, the next they are riding cross country on horseback. So it's a pleasant surprise that even after such annoying studio interference, "The 13th Warrior" still succeeds on several levels. Based on Michael Crichton's novel "Eaters of the Dead," a whimsical interpretation of the Olde English tale "Beowulf," this film (like the book) changes the dragon into a cannibalistic horde of viscious warriors terrorizing a remote village. A ragtag group of vikings, in the best tradition of "The Magnificient Seven," soon come to the rescue with unwitting Arabic ambassador Ahmed (Antonio Banderas) in tow.Several great scenes will stay with the viewer, among them Ahmed's touching dalliance with a willowy viking maiden (who disappears by the film's end), Ahmed's humorous camaraderie with his new viking friends, Bulvine's (Beowulf's) fatal stand prior to the final battle, and Omar Sharif's brief cameo at the film's beginning.Bulvine's viking burial, which should have been one of the ultimate highlights of this film, is shown as if an afterthought during a far too brief montage. The relationship between Bulvine, aging warrior king Hrothgar and Hrothgar's wife (played by the talented Diane Venora), also appears to have been a victim of impatient editors. With the recent success of the "Lord of the Rings" films, it's obvious viewers have no complaints about sitting through a finely detailed epic fantasy, so it comes as a rather sad note that what could have been an equally superb fantasy film has been so severely butchered. I would love to see a Director's Cut of "The 13th Warrior," with the missing scenes added. John McTiernan has proven his action muscle in the past with the underrated "Predator," and the creative "Die Hard." "The 13th Warrior" is a good film, and I enjoy watching it repeatedly. But with each viewing, I realize with frustration this should have been a great film. As a fantasy fan, I have been sold short by an unimaginative Hollywood system."
Lots of currents below the surface here...
Joshua Dyal | Texas | 01/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally heard pretty bad stuff about this movie -- Roger Ebert, for instance, said it was exciting yet plotless. After renting and seeing this the other night (which incidentally, prompted me to buy it) I have to disagree heartily.What does the movie have? First, it has good character development. Most of the characters that matter (Buliwyf, Ahmed, etc.) are shown in detail and have growth and development. It is very well acted for the kind of movie it is. It is very interesting for it's portrayal of the Germanic heroic culture, and the values that infused it. I think this is where many critics fail to see the shine in the movie. Because they are unable to get themselves out of their modern cultural frame of reference, the actions of the characters sometimes seem unmotivated and the plot seems to suffer. As a student of ancient heroic societies and their literature, I understood right away what was going on with the characters.For some flaws with the movie, some of the more interesting potential plot lines were alluded to but not followed through with. Banderas' romance, the intrigue with the son of the king, the possibility of the wendol as Neanderthals, as hinted in the book -- all would have made the movie *more* interesting than it already is, and would have, perhaps, given it a plot that had a little more relevance to modern audiences."
THE 13TH WARRIOR
K. Jump | Corbin, KY United States | 06/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on Michael Crichton's adventure novel "Eaters of the Dead," John McTiernan's much underappreciated film is not only a worthy adaptation of Crichton's book, but one of the best action movies of the past fifteen years. Antonio Banderas stars as an outcast Arab poet who falls in with a band of Viking adventurers. When word reaches the Vikings that one of their castles is under siege from a legendary foe too terrible to be named, their shaman dictates that Banderas must accompany the Norsemen on their relief mission or it will be doomed to failure. And so, the lucky number 13 in the flesh, Banderas embarks on an incredible adventure in which he must learn to fight or die, and comes face to face with the ultimate taboo: cannibalism.This movie was not a blockbuster, but it should've been. The script is intelligent , the performances realistic, the sets lavish, and most importantly the action is just incredible. Moreover, the story is noteworthy for its largely credible depiction of Viking life, which may have been barbaric to some but which had its own unique and inimitable charm--which Banderas comes to slowly appreciate for himself, particulary Viking mead and Nordic women. The intense Norse belief in heroism and honor is prominent in this movie, and the Viking leader's last stand is both moving and powerful.Crighton based his own novel on the ancient tale of Beowulf, and "The 13th Warrior" is a more than admirable retelling of that undying legend. Highly recommended to all action fans."
A Fine Fantasy Action Film
Kevin Wagner (Kevin@scifiguys.com) | 03/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It was like the stealth movie. Antonio Banderas (Zorro) starring in a movie based on a Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) book and . . . nothing. Most people never even heard of this film that inexplicably slid right through the box office with barely a whimper. But they missed a good one.The 13th Warrior is loosely based on the Crichton novel Eaters of the Dead. Banderas plays an Arab of high birth who is banished from his people for falling in love with the wrong woman. He is sent as an ambassador to the barbaric people of the North where he meets up with a dangerous, yet fairly affable group of Vikings.The plot gains speed when a child seeks out the leader of the Vikings to help defend a different Viking kingdom from an evil force. When an oracle determines that 13 warriors must go to combat the evil, Banderas is drafted because the 13th warrior must not be a northman. The thirteen "volunteers" head north to combat the evil force that decapitates and eats its victims.Make no mistake, this is a violent, bloody movie. But in the best tradition of classic fantasy, it is engaging and exhilarating. The battle scenes seemed to be filmed from the midst of the action, and the blows appear frighteningly real. The sword play is direct and brutal. This movie aims for a dark, serious tone and largely achieves it. Though the action scenes are terrific, the most appealing part of this film is the Viking characters. Though many of the roles are filled by unknown talent, the performances are right on. The Vikings are violently repulsive, yet decidedly brave, noble, and loyal. They, like the movie, are decidedly smarter and more subtle than they would initially appear. Banderas' Arab character goes from outsider to warrior as he slowly adopts the noble courage of his Viking companions.I'm sure most critics dismissed this film as meaningless violence. But it's much more than that if you take the time to look."