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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.95%
Worth A Look30.77%
Just Average30.77%
Pretty Crappy: 14.53%
Sucks: 5.98%

8 reviews, 69 user ratings

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13th Warrior, The
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by Charles Tatum

"Lucky 13"
5 stars

Loosely based on Michael Crichton's novel "Eaters of the Dead," this is a triumph in the pre-gun action film genre.

Antonio Banderas plays an Arab who joins up with twelve Viking warriors recruited to fight what seems to be a band of cannibalistic monsters who are wiping out whole villages in the Norse land. Along the way, Banderas learns their language and begins to help the warriors, who doubt his fighting abilities because of his small horse and smaller sword. After repelling an attack, the warriors decide to track the cannibals back to their cave, where they kill a priestess. After making it back to their adopted village, they wait for the climactic, gory, and vengeful battle.

I think I liked this movie so much because it jumped feet first into the mayhem, and yet kept the picture centered around Banderas and the warriors. "Jurassic Park III" jumped into the mayhem, but then started killing characters off so fast, you did not care. Here, Banderas provides a solid anchor to the film, and his compatriots are very likeable.

Another plus: no forced romance. Banderas has a purely physical fling, but we do not have a Viking fall in love with a cannibal (ouch!) or Banderas discovering his paramour in his saddlebag at the battle so she can prove even women can fight people eaters. The story is very straightforward, think of it as a remake of "The Magnificent Seven" crossed with "Quest for Fire." Another plus is the fact that the Vikings do not suddenly invent the world's first grenade or a machine gun that shoots horse dung. They have swords and arrows. They fight with swords and arrows.

The location filming in British Columbia is breathtaking. The movie is very cloudy, dark, and grim, and this works. Jerry Goldsmith's score enhanced the creepiness of every scene, and McTiernan proves he can direct some excellent action films that have more behind them than just explosions (like the first "Die Hard", although avoid "Nomads").

I think the studio marketing department screwed up this film. I expected a weak comedy about peace lover Banderas trying not to fight in a war. The ad campaign never mentioned who the enemy was, or even what time period this took place in.

I think action and Crichton fans will be impressed with this film. I know I was.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=729&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/26/03 20:32:27
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User Comments

2/11/12 Tony Hogan Great Sword (without sorcery) movie 5 stars
8/08/09 Anthony Barker Maybe Andrew Howe should stick to watching The English Patient... This film was GREAT!!!!! 5 stars
3/01/08 Pamela White Banderas at his best 5 stars
11/13/06 Munjal Attawala Not Bad 4 stars
10/05/06 Lance hollow...could have been much more 3 stars
2/03/06 Kankasaur Seeing "cow urine" smeared on Banderas' face was amusing, at least. 2 stars
8/17/05 ES 'That's a nice sword. When you die can I give it to my daughter?' 4 stars
8/26/04 Aaron Smith interesting storyline, different kind of scifi 3 stars
7/28/04 Yuma Bill Good elements, but thick layer of cheese. Lots of "hollywood moments" 3 stars
1/26/04 Amanda It was cool we read Beowulf in class so it was awesome to see the comparassion in the 2 4 stars
11/27/03 John a mess that propably was once a good movie (cut down and reshot in post production) 2 stars
11/19/03 Vincent Murdok A furlong Myth 5 stars
10/20/03 Alan Watched it until the end, hoping that something would redeem this insufferable tripe. Nope. 1 stars
10/08/03 george a. nicikowski i,ve watched it over 2 dozen times and i'm still entertained by it. 5 stars
8/04/03 Ishkabibble A great, underrated film. It only gets better with repeated viewings 5 stars
6/01/03 John Gratner Excellent Hero epic 5 stars
2/27/03 Mister Bigglesworth Crichton was dared to remake Beowolf exciting to his class. What movie DOESN'T Tatum like? 1 stars
2/27/03 Jack Sommersby Original, daring, and compulsively watchable. A welcome surprise. 4 stars
2/26/03 y2mckay Great movie, Storhøi rocks, Antonio good. One bitch - He learns language THAT quickly? 4 stars
2/24/03 R.W. Welch Medieval actioner with good period atmosphere but elementary plot line. 3 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Dark and brooding and better than half the crap out there 5 stars
7/11/02 KMG Should have stayed with "Eaters of the Dead"...and another script 3 stars
6/21/02 Bart Interesting retelling of Beowulf, although a little slow 4 stars
4/29/02 Ryan And no one even mentions the early Germanic epic 'Beowulf' from which this is derived... 4 stars
10/16/01 MaMaFaC This movie fucking rocks 5 stars
10/09/01 jawsboy banderas was only ok, and the story and editing were so so. good action and costumes. 3 stars
8/20/01 Jan Doens't always have to be fuckin high tech 5 stars
8/18/01 Dr. Thompson Cool Vikings, and cool to see a movie that shows muslims as heros 4 stars
8/08/01 E-Funk Antonio Banderas looks like such a pussy in this movie...I didn't buy one second of it. 1 stars
3/24/01 Soggy Bottom Boy Banderas not right for the part (since when does hispanic = arabic?); a few good visuals. 3 stars
2/22/01 Steve in Prague pretty good popcorn flick...what did you expect Citizen f'n Kane!?!??! 5 stars
12/09/00 Mitja Podgajski hmm.. pretty shitty story... but casting and scenes were great.. :) 3 stars
12/07/00 Girl 9 I've seen this movie done before...and I've seen it done better. 3 stars
11/23/00 Liat Kitten Lots of action Little Plot Ripoff of Beowulf 4 stars
9/21/00 Terrie Smith Great British Columbia locales; good acting from Kulich and Storhoi. 4 stars
6/23/00 Naushad Khanji Good location shots.Not that bad.Lacks epic sweep but entertaining. 4 stars
4/24/00 John Lyons Antonio Banderas did very well. Liked it better the second time I saw it. 4 stars
3/16/00 arnold beginning sucked but the battle scences rocked 4 stars
1/13/00 k.tomkowski I loved it. 5 stars
1/09/00 Hangman This shit is THE shit. 5 stars
12/16/99 Elan Davout Workman's craft from McTiernan/Chrichton's interference is palpable 3 stars
12/04/99 levon stasse WHAR MORE TO SAY BUT DONT WAIST YOUR DOE 1 stars
9/28/99 Ami the Wonderbread Beowulf revisited. This was a fun film, with a wealth of mythology behind it. 4 stars
9/27/99 the Grinch 2Proud2Beg Bueller, yer my hero. 4 stars
9/26/99 The Lynchpyn delivers the action --and plenty of it 3 stars
9/25/99 Costars Mindless, plotless, eye candy 2 stars
9/24/99 XenoWolf Itshouldhavebeenmoremysticaltheygooffonfiredragonshitwhenitwasabunchoffagsinbearsuits 3 stars
9/19/99 Weird Andy Despite the presence of Antonio Candeas, this flick is a yy chromosome delight. 4 stars
9/16/99 Kory Has alot of cool scenes but, overall, don't expect too much. 4 stars
9/13/99 Ratso Dude, they've got Bears riding Horses in this movie. What else do you want? 4 stars
9/12/99 mason hey , every year we gat a new big star with sword film . heres antonios . snore 2 stars
9/10/99 Travis Smith I only liked the bears riding horses 1 stars
9/10/99 Greg I thought it was pretty good (4 1/2 *) I thought it had some great moments. 4 stars
9/09/99 phypor pretty much agree with Grinch... but i liked the rushed intro (straight into the action) 4 stars
9/08/99 MAXOMENOS Magnificent movie, but what happened to the Prince? Made me want to read the novel. 4 stars
9/08/99 ladislau For Chet:It seems you have seen very few movies!Shame! 3 stars
9/08/99 Dax Okay if you've got nothing better to do, otherwise rent it in a few months. 3 stars
9/08/99 Fork For those that enjoy the idea of Vikings. Otherwise it's merely a short action movie. 4 stars
9/06/99 B.O.B. Kick-butt movie with some real history too. Sucky digital Viking Longboat though... 5 stars
9/06/99 Matthew Bartley Badly edited but you could see worse 3 stars
9/06/99 Chet This is the best movie I have ever seen in my life!!! 5 stars
9/04/99 tigerlette finally Beowulf-meritorious 4 stars
9/04/99 agustin it's no Conan or Braveheart what you get is 2 hrs of darkness while they fight 3 stars
9/03/99 whocares worst movie of the year 1 stars
9/02/99 ladislau Don't expect too much from Antonio. He was eaten by the dead! 3 stars
9/01/99 PhilmPhreak Multiple beheadings but no breasts. 3 stars
1/24/99 Dark Horizons Films made from books are never as good, no exception here. 2 stars
8/27/98 Mister Whoopee Test screening good, but Disney have messed with it for 12 mth. Trailer looked toned down. 4 stars
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  27-Aug-1999 (R)
  DVD: 15-Jan-2002

  03-Sep-1999 (15)

  02-Mar-2000 (MA)

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