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The 13th Warrior (1999)
Director: John McTiernan

review by Ian Shutter

Ever since the mega-hit of Jurassic Park ensured every preteen kid wanted a cuddly dinosaur for Christmas, Hollywood's profit-hungry moguls have been falling over themselves to option Michael Crichton's older novels for the big screen. This tenth century tale of an Arab living amongst besieged Norsemen follows hot on the heels of the dismal Sphere, and is co-produced by Crichton himself, so he must shoulder a share of the blame.
   This lacklustre adventure is based on Crichton's book, Eaters Of The Dead (1976), which arch critic Julie Burchill once denounced as the book "no-one's ever heard of." In the film, Antonio Banderas is well suited to his role as the heroic outsider, Omar Sharif appears, briefly, as his interpreter, and the underused Diane Venora has a cameo as the Viking queen. Yet, star power aside, it's the superbly photographed landscapes, spectacular battles, and the story's obvious roots in the great legend of Beowulf that are The 13th Warrior's nominal strengths. This is an enjoyable dark fantasy adveture... but only just!
previously published online by VideoVista
The 13th Warrior
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