The 13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior

John McTiernan (1999)

98min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The Vikings gets a gruesome makeover in this horror adventure from Die Hard director John McTiernan, based on Michael Crichton's novel Eaters of the Dead. Antonio Banderas looks decidedly uncomfortable as a tenth-century Arab emissary abducted by Norsemen to fight barbaric cannibals who are terrorising their compatriots. How the Arab adapts to a totally alien culture and uncovers the secrets of the feared "spirits in the mist" makes for a visually arresting if half-baked saga, though the initially promising fantasy elements soon evaporate into a rather mundane reality. The film is never boring - there are numerous epic battle sequences and graphic scenes of slaughter - but it's not really that exciting either and shows clear signs of production difficulties. Crichton re-edited McTiernan's final cut, reducing Omar Sharif and Diane Venora's roles to virtually nothing despite their top billing. Jerry Goldsmith's marvellously stirring soundtrack is a major plus, however.

Summary

A disgraced Arabic nobleman exiled from his Baghdad home joins forces with Norse warriors at the close of the first millennium, and ends up battling seemingly invincible fiends during an epic journey. Action adventure adapted from the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, starring Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhi, Vladimir Kulich and Omar Sharif.

Cast & Crew

Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Antonio Banderas
Queen Weilew Diane Venora
Buliwyf Vladimir Kulich
Melchisidek Omar Sharif
Wigliff Anders T Andersen
Weath Tony Curran
Skeld the Superstitious Richard Bremmer
Herger the Joyous Dennis Storhi
Director John McTiernan
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains violence. Available on: video and DVD
Drama