The 13th Warrior Reviews
The film isn't accurate of course, it is based on actual fact but has been hugely exaggerated and made more exciting for both the novel and film. The lead character 'Fadlan' was a real Arabic traveller and he did go north and experience Viking life but all the battles with cannibals (based on the 'Beowulf' folklore) is complete fantasy.
So the film has a touch of grounding in reality which makes it more interesting and urges you to learn more which is good, the film itself isn't too bad, compared to the novel I don't know but there isn't too much happening in the film other than time wasting dialog inter-spursted with pitched battles. The dialog is very wooden really and somewhat 'state the obvious' all the time, the film does feel a little rushed and choppy probably due to the problems whist being made and really the battles, which are the focal point, aren't all that good either.
The film is solid and is reasonably interesting but it just feels very underwhelming, as if there is a really really good kick ass film somewhere in there wanting to get out. Banderas looks the part of the Arab and the Viking cast also look good as does the cold looking muddy location work but Sharif seems to have been stuck in there simply for big name status and to try and elevate the film to epic levels as he does pretty much nothing of importance and disappears very quickly.
The film does get slightly more silly as it progresses towards the end but all in all it just about does the job of keeping you entertained. The barbarian hordes the Vikings fend off are too unrealistic really I think, that's the problem, and of course most of them are all just sword fodder for the heroes so the usual thing. I think 'Pathfinder' does it better.
"The 13th Warrior" is one of those movies that you have to watch from the very beginning and grasp every single word because it will leave you confused if you don't watch and listen like you should. It's a good tale about a man who must make a new kind of life for himself, and it's exciting in parts. The battles are gory and exciting, and the movie has pretty good special effects. My only complaint is that it didn't have as many battle scenes or as much action as I would've liked to of seen. But the plot and the good acting keep it from failing. If you like movies that tell old and intriguing stories of Vikings or other ancient groups from history, I'd recommend getting "The 13th Warrior." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. I was being generous, I don't like Banderas and this movie was soooooooo boring!
How 'bout the part when he figures out thier language aye ^_^
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The overblown sword swinging epic wannabe is nothing more than a series of carnage strung together. The movie is basically one long battle sequence with plenty of heads rolling and blood spilling. I just wish that the battles were lit better so I could see what the hell was going on. There's so much blood flying that there should be a sign in the theater saying "Warning: The first five rows, you will get wet." You know you're in trouble with a Medieval hack-and-slash piece when the most interesting thing during the battles is the pretty scenery. And pretty it is.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Antonio Banderas hones the art of the befuddled stare and surmises it as the only attempt of sensible acting in the movie. Rounding out the rest of the baker's dozen of warriors are mostly unknown Scandinavian actors that will remain unknown. Lucky for them. Banderas tries to keep the audience's attention but is powerless to stop the inedvitable yawns that will come.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The characters are all copies of the same mold and the characterzation is less than paper thin. The story is so incomprehensible and incoherent that it introduces characters, gives them all promise, then directly forgets they ever existed for the rest of the movie and steers off to the next beheading. The love interest is horribly underused and as such largely made for the purpose of cleaning some nasty cuts and wounds from the big bad boys. The movie is extrememly slow paced, sometimes unbearbably so. The cliched script as a whole introduces so many other promising directions that do nothing but enrage you with the path the movie does decide to take to the end.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Being nothing above a tesosterone pumped B-movie, 'The 13th Warrior' even fails to excite the average movie goer with any sense of suspense or tension. This movie has been sitting on the shelf of Touchtone for over a year of reshoots, cuts, test screenings and such. I wish it had remained on the shelf.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C- [/color][/font]
Don't expect any Oscar worth performances but "My name... is Antonio Banderas" does alright in his role.