13TH WARRIOR (DVD/2.35/DD 5.1/FR-DUB) IN AD 922, ARAB COURTIER AHMAD IBN FADLAN ACCOMPANIES A PARTY OF VIKINGS TO THE BARBARIC NORTH. IBN FADLAN IS APPALLED BY THE VIKINGS CUSTOMS, THEIR WANTON SEXUALITY, THEIR DISREGARD FOR CLEANLINESS, THEIR COLD-BLOODED HUMAN SACRIFICES.
The 13th Warrior is an adventure story that inserts the Arabic traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan into a tale of . Ahmad ibn Fadlan is an educated Arab courtier who is as punishment for a courtly indiscretion. He is recruited to serve as the thirteenth member of a group of Norse warriors who answer a call for help from a far-away Nordic king. The kingdom is under attack from the Wendol. Ahmad ibn Fadlan narrates his adventure and his growing respect for the barbarians around him.
Sword epics with Vikings will always be a favourite for me.
The swish of one of those huge broad swords and the metallic ring as they slice through a neck rank right up there with the cinematic, machinic, muted roar of spaceships and the false squeal of tires on dirt roads.
Leif Ericson in The Tales Of The Vikings 1960's T.V. series helped fill my young world. I suppose that imagining that I was Nordic and lopping off English heads was preferable to being a cowboy and picking on the hapless Red Indians.
The likes of Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Thring and Janet Leigh in movies like The Vikings (1958) made for pretty good childhood fantasies and I reckon that sometimes it's O.K. not to grow up.
In The 13th Warrior Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas stars as Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan. Other characters include Herger The Joyous, Buliwyf (perhaps he was the red headed one with the Scottish accent), Melchisidek (Omar Sharif in a cameo) and Queen Weilew who was played by the less glamourously named Diane Venora.
Don't worry too much about her though. She's just there to pat Ibn's brow, and other things belonging to Ibn, between battles.
But those names do have a certain broad sword ring to them don't they.
The idea is that Arab poet Ibn (Banderas) has been lusting after the wrong woman in Court and has been sent off as some sort of diplomat to the Vikings who have a spot of bother. A village is being besieged by mad demons. 13 warriors must go and Banderas must help out. And so the carnage begins. This I repeat is the only reason for the movie.
The romantic bits are only by play, bloody foreplay for the real thing.
Big, sweaty, longhaired, fellows with names that these days would end in son do heroic battle with very nasty adversaries who delight in taking the heads of their victim's home with them as keepsakes.
The plot is that simple. Michael Crichton's novel upon which the film was supposedly based (it's now over 25 years old) was I'd imagine thrown onto a fat splattered campfire early in the production and the blood letting began. And Crichton is a co-writer of the film.
The 13The Warrior was directed by John McTiernan who's credits include Predator, The Hunt For Red October, The Thomas Crown Affair and Die Hard and it was filmed by Peter Menzies Jr. I mention this because this film looks superb.
This cross between The Last Of The Mohecans, The Conan films and Indiana Jones won't excite your thinking processes but lovers of the art of action cinematography are in for a treat.
As good an actor as Banderas is, he just didn't seem to be into this
movie. His theme seems to be hot-blooded latino, not Arab and not
viking. I think he would rather have been in a bull fight movie or
something. Or maybe the bogus factor of the movie was too much for him.
His trying to convert the Vikings to Islam also seemed delusional. Da,
I think the 13th warrior was supposed to become more like a Viking, no?
Why in the heck would a Norseman care about Allah? And doesn't he know
it's rude for a stranger to try to convert the host? He didn't even
give them a chance to teach him some words, like a savante or
something, he picked it up just sitting at the campfire and listening.
Right. If the viking was visiting the Arab, he would have to sit polite
and be taught their ways etc. So the movie tried to be politically
correct or something. Yuck. And this movie rhymes with that. 1 out of
10, and no good excuses for this movie.
|Unofficial 13th Warrior Site|
|The Chronicles of Ibn Fadlan|
|North Island Links' The 13 Warrior Photo Site|
|Skulls Unlimited Inc. International|
|A Day In The Life Of An Extra|