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The 13th Warrior

FromJohn McTiernan

WithAntonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Omar Sharif, Dennis Storhøi



In the year 922, the poet Ahmad Ibn Fadlān (Antonio Banderas) is sent as an ambassador to the Northmen after falling out of favor at the court of Baghdad. With a Viking clan, he becomes the "thirteenth warrior" who, according to a prophecy, is to help in the fight against an ancient evil. Michael Crichton's novel was inspired by the historical Ibn Fadlān as well as the Beowulf legend, but the author fell out with director John McTiernan over the film adaptation and ended up reshooting parts himself, which resulted in a costly and misjudged flop. The 13th Warrior may show traces of the dispute, but its night-black vision has stood the test of time: As an adventure film, it follows in the footsteps of Richard Fleischer's The Vikings as well as Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Economic action is combined with a narrative about the rapprochement of cultures - the poetic montage that condenses the learning of a foreign language is unforgettable. (Christoph Huber)