Projections - Movie Reviews

The 13th Warrior

It seems that when you think you have seen the worst movie of the year, along comes one that is worse than you can possibly believe.  That movie is The 13th Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas.

After being forced to watch this one hour 43 minute blood fest, I am reminded that this movie was intended to be released in the summer of 1998 and, after many test screenings and re-shoots, this was the best they could come up with.  There are only a couple of reasons I can think of as to why this movie actually made it to the big screen.
#1  Someone with a grudge wanted to get even with Banderas
#2  The studio was hoping to make back some money paid to make this movie (they won't even get back half of it )

The story begins with an over produced and over acted scene of people yelling and an "oracle" determining that 13 warriors were needed to defeat a band of villains plaguing a northern area.  Quickly 12 warriors volunteer and the "oracle" professes that the 13th warrior must not be of Viking blood.  This was the only character development of the movie.  We rapidly begin the battle sequences and many of the warriors die.  How many?  Who cares, because at this point you are hoping for a fire in the projection booth or a power failure so you can get your money back.

At the midpoint of the film there is one brief moment where the screen goes completely white and you wonder if you have died and you are moving into the light as your reward for having tolerated this horrible movie.  But alas, you have another 50 minutes to endure.

The acting is poor and the battles are fake (how do they get the blood out of their clothes so nicely?)  Even the sword play has been done better in every other film I have seen.  The premise of animal like warriors who eat their dead sounded pretty good, but, the subplots (if you can catch them), the unrealistic lighting of the battles, and even the gore are all substandard.  Banderas in the  payoff scene screams "I was wrong, these are not men!"  Try to imagine William Shatner from Star Trek doing A Midsummer Night's Dream and you'll get a feel for how well this line carried.

Now it is my turn to yell: This is not a movie!  If this were a real movie, I would have cringed, laughed or cried and, most importantly, enjoyed it.

The 13th Warrior


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