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Was I Wrong?: The 13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior - 1999

The 13th Warrior – 1999

The heyday of once-heralded action director John McTiernan has faded into the misty night, like the last embers of an erstwhile firewyrm set to wreak magnificent hell upon the mortal world. Immortal McTiernan classics such as Predator and Die Hard gave way to arguably great fare (The Hunt for Red October), middling action-romance stuff (The Thomas Crown Affair) and absolute puke (Rollerball).

Towards the tail end of the 90’s, McTiernan graced the film-going public with the long-gestating, would-be Viking epic The 13th Warrior, starring an effete Antonio Banderas as the eponymous Warrior, alongside 12 hulking “Northmen”. Based on Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, the film version (filmed years before release, in the wake of other successful/not-so successful Crichton works like Jurassic Park and Sphere) makes some noble attempts to adapt a supposedly true account of an Arab scholar and his travels to the cold and harsh northern lands of Europe to face off against the forces of darkness.

When the movie was released in theaters, it was dismissed by critics and ignored by audiences.  As a fan of the film, I have to ask Was I wrong about The 13th Warrior?

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