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The 13th Warrior (1999)

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The 13th Warrior


Antonio Banderas
Diane Venora
Omar Sharif

Directed by John McTiernan

Distributed by Touchstone Pictures

Dark, gritty and enjoyably atmospheric.

Based on the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, 13th Warrior tells the tale of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, an arab ambassador as he travels to a faraway land on an errand for his king. Along the way, he encounters the men of the north - Pagan warriors who are enlisted by an oracle on a quest to save a kingdom from legendary mysterious creatures who consume every living thing in their path. Somehow, Ahmed is enlisted among them, becoming the titular 13th warrior.

The movie is arguably not as good as the book due to the fact the story was easier to follow in the book than on the screen, but the movie is one for the movie fanatics.

Crichton himself did some uncredited directing for a reshoot after Disney fired McTiernan.

John McTiernan who is known for his action films (Die Hard, Die Hard with a vengeance and Predator) made sure this movie will not be for the squeamish, as it preys on decapitation, blood and sword fighting.

The thing that jumps out at you while watching is the score. The music and sound effects capture the tone of the adventure and blends impressively with events.
The movie and production was so intense that two horses were injured during filming.

Antonio Banderas' performance in the movie dropped a little from the year before when he played Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro alongside Anthony Hopkins in the Steven Spielberg produced “Mask of Zorro” but kudos to the way he pulled his accent into play for the character and with the help of the script made his role stand out as an outsider among a bunch of ragtag north men warriors.

The movie also stars Omar Sharif from “Laurence of Arabia.”

With all the violence and blood that plagues the TV screen you would expect that the movie will be a commercial success, but it was not raking in far below 50% of its budget.

MEMORABLE QUOTE: Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: Merciful Father, I have squandered my days with plans of many things. This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought, and have not thought; all we ought to have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have said, and have not said; all we ought to have done, and have not done; I pray thee God for forgiveness.


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