In the Halls Of Valhalla, where the Brave may live Forever...
Nov 9, 2008
I am still waiting for a Director's Cut on this film. It's one of my all time favorites, the best "Sword" movie ever, in my humble opinion, far superior to 'Braveheart'. No shining knights here, just brave and tough northmen (Vikings!) who do not hesitate to stand up to their worst fears and face them. Based on the Michael Crichton novel 'Eaters Of The Dead', 'The 13th Warrior' holds up to the standards of the book but could have been a bolder, better, more sweeping epic if the makers of the film had just put a little more effort into it.
Basically, Arab Ahmed (Antonio Banderas) is forced from his country to be an ambassador to the wild northlands. As he visits at the funeral of a Viking king with his friend Melchisidek (Omar Shariff), the northmen are summoned by a boy to aid their brethren in a fight against an unnamable evil. The Oracle calls for thirteen men, and the thirteenth must not be a northman. Ahmed is chosen for the journey, though he cannot even speak their language.
He learns their language on the way, surprising the Vikings, but befriending Herger (Dennis Storhoi). To Ahmed, the Northmen are barbarians with unclean and brutal ways, but as he lives among them, he discovers their heart, courage, and camaraderie, and beyond that the intelligence behind their cruelty.
The Northmen, along with Ahmed, take on the infamous Wendol, the Eaters Of The Dead, elusive and cunning humans who have a relationship with bears and with the earth. An old woman informs King Buliwyf (Vladimir Kulich) that he must remove the root and kill the war leader.
The fight scenes in this movie are spectacular, the scenery stunning, and the acting superior. Vladimir Kulich, Dennis Storhoi, and Omar Shariff steal the show, so even if you are leery of a Banderas film, don't sweat it. This was a different role for Banderas that he played extremely well, but was still out-shown by the excellent performances of Kulich and Storhoi. Honorable mentions to Daniel Southern, Neil Maffin, John DeSantis, Clive Russel, Mischa Hausserman, Ablie Woodington, and Richard Bremmer as the brutal Viking warriors who take on the Wendol.
From the bleak shorelines to the misty hills, from the wooden Greathouse to the muddy fields, this movie has 'Brute Warrior' written all over it, and the stoic, heroic Buliwyf will show you what a real man is made of. Swords, competition, empires, real warriors, mud, blood, fear, superstition, and a bit of magic will keep your eyes glued to the candy on the screen.
Definitely a "buy". If they come out with a Director's Cut, I will buy it twice, it's that good. Enjoy!
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Starring Antonio Banderas, Vladimir Kulich, Dennis Storhoi, Daniel Southern Directed by John McTeirnan Writers: William Wisher Jr. (screenplay) Michael Crichton (book) 1999
Product Description 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 (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!