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  • Panned by critics upon release, and still without a Director's Cut to see the light of day, I think The 13th Warrior is an overlooked gem much deserving of your attention
  • Everything looks authentic and in my view this was probably the best on screen portrayal of Vikings until the recent Michael Hirst TV show, Vikings
  • There are no clumsy errors or tacky sets that shatter the illusion of reality which makes this a truly immersing viewing experience
  • I'd recommend this film to anyone with an interest in historically inspired or mythological based movies


by James Roberts

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    Panned by critics upon release, and still without a Director’s Cut to see the light of day, I think The 13th Warrior is an overlooked gem much deserving of your attention. It was supposed to be an epically scaled historical adventure based on Michael Crichton’s book The Eaters of the Dead, which itself was a retelling of the classic Beowulf tale, but it suffered through a rather tumultuous production.
  • The 13th Warrior, Movie
  • All of that aside, and despite some of the trouble being evidenced by a slightly fractured narrative, there is an awful lot to like in this film. The money spent on costumes and sets was money well spent. Everything looks authentic and in my view this was probably the best on screen portrayal of Vikings until the recent Michael Hirst TV show, Vikings. There are no clumsy errors or tacky sets that shatter the illusion of reality which makes this a truly immersing viewing experience.

  • The 13th Warrior, Movie
  • The cast is also led wonderfully by three very charismatic leads. Antonio Banderas gives one of his most endearing performances as a humbled Arab traveller, Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, who slowly develops bonds of brotherhood with a people who he is initially entirely at odds with. Vladimir Kulich exudes dignity and majesty as Buliwyf, the Beowulf of this story. But the most charming and engaging performance comes from Dennis Storhoi, a complete unknown to English speaking audiences, as Herger, who enables us to identify with the otherwise aloof Viking warriors.

  • The 13th Warrior, Movie
  • Although you could criticise the film for failing to develop enough of the supporting characters I am going to play Devil’s advocate and suggest that this is so our experience as viewers mirrors that of Ahmed Ibd Fadlan’s, the eponymous 13th Warrior who is a stranger amongst them. Even though you might struggle to name each of the Vikings by the end they do each have their own unique and identifiable personalities, although I will admit that they could have done with some more screen-time. There were a couple who almost go unnoticed which is a real shame after the rousing scene in which they all volunteer to undertake the quest.

  • The 13th Warrior, Movie
  • I’d say the pacing is on the mark and despite the re-shoots and re-edits there is a fine balance between suspense, action and drama. It is clear that some sub plots were mostly disassembled during post production but it never detracts from the power of the main narrative. This is a story of heroism and bravery that is magnificently told through restrained dialogue and stirring battle sequences. The script is witty and feels very natural but still provides a few memorable one liners too.

  • The 13th Warrior, Movie
  • Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack brings it all together. His epic themes captured the boldness and danger of the quest perfectly, leaving a lasting a impression on me long after the closing credits.

    I’d recommend this film to anyone with an interest in historically inspired or mythological based movies. If you missed this film first time around you will find it far superior to many recent releases of this ilk, and I think you may find a new favourite too. The 13th Warrior also has something to offer fans of horror as well thanks to the suspenseful first half which builds a lot of mystery around the nature of the heroes’ adversaries.



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in February, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 119021641590528/k2311a029/2.9.15
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