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The Thirteenth Warrior

Cast (in credits order)
Antonio Banderas .... Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan
Diane Venora .... Queen Hrothgar
Dennis Storh°i .... Herger the Joyous
Vladimir Kulich .... Buliwyf
Omar Sharif .... Melchisidek
Directed by .... John McTiernan and Michael Crichton

        Is it possible to have a great movie with a bad leading man? Desparado did a pretty good job. The trick with the star of
the extremely high budgeted and long delayed film The 13th Warrior, Antonio Banderas, is cut his lines in half. He doesn't do the action parts to bad, it's just that damn acting part. When he opens his mouth it's like a needle is being shoved into your ear. If you don't cut his lines in half spread them out and make him speak slowly so everyone could hear what he is saying. That's just my opinion.

        What is the point of The 13th Warrior? Combining a big star (Antonio Banderas), a very popular writer (Michael
Crichton of Jurassic Park-fame), and a very popular director (John McTiernan of Die Hard and The Thomas Crown Affair) is
the point. Oh yeah and making money. You think with these tools it's impossible to not make a good movie. Well it is
possible. It's not the director's direction at fault. It's partially the writer's fault and it's mostly Antonio's fault.

        What is the point (plotwise) of The 13th Warrior? Antonio Banderas is an artisan in Turkish empire when they were in
power in medieval times. He falls in love with the wife of a very powerful man. He is banished from the land to a northern region where the vikings rule. Once there he and his interpreter stay with a group of vikings. When a call comes for warriors to defend a great evil, Banderas is chosen even though he has never fought because he is a poet. The movie is basically his journey
through the trials and tribulations of becoming a warrior.

        I was very happy with the beginning of the movie. There is some nice gore. Banderas plays what he should, a dumb and
experienced person. In this case he's The 13th Warrior. When he leaves on his horse, which they all make fun of because it
is like a show horse not a warrior horse, he has no idea what he is in for. Then he starts getting smart and becoming a
warrior. Banderas is getting smarter, not possible.

        The 13th Warrior looks a lot like Braveheart. I didn't like Braveheart that much. I didn't like this movie that much. The
action scenes were ok. They were good and bad at the same time. Sometimes they would show a good battle between a
warrior and a bad guy then they'd go to a fight in which they just show their weapons and not the people very annoying.
It was annoying and kind of sickening. The story and the dialogue were very bad. The bad guys look like crazy forest people  from another one of Crichton's previous films' Congo. But the twist here is that they are wearing bear skins. Ohhh. They aren't scary. They are as scary as a man about 5"6 120 lbs. who has some tattoos. The tattoo doesn't do anything for him. In this case all the make up in the world could not have made these villains scarier. The 13th Warrior had one too many warriors. I wish Banderas might have sat this one out.

    This movie is based on one of Chrichton's earlier and better novels called Eaters of the Dead. Guess they didn't like that title too much. The movie finished principal shooting over a year ago and was supposed to be released a year ago but due to terrible reviews from preview screeners it has been reedited multiple times until there was nothing left. Disney had a $150 million stinker on its hands so they promote it to the max  and then release it the last week of the summer hoping to get one big weekend. They might make about $30-$40 that means all it has to do is make another $160 million overseas and on video, that includes promotion and such. Another waste of a whole bunch of money.

Rating: 2 stars out of 4/ 6 out of 10/ B-
Reviewed by Joe "buscemifan" Soria
Running Time:
Rated R for blood, guts, and language.

Very cool score from Jerry Goldsmith
of The Rock fame. Only $12.99!

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