John McTiernan‘s 1999 release, The 13th Warrior has become something of a forgotten curiosity. Based on Michael Crichton‘s 1976 novel Eaters Of The Dead, the film preceded the glut of medieval epics that followed in the wake of The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The whole thing is loosely based on the ancient epic poem, Beowulf.
While The 13th Warrior is an incredibly flawed film, it is still worth watching on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The film was plagued by production problems and fights between McTiernan and producer/novelist Crichton (who directed reshoots); the budget of the film finally came in at a reported $160 million – though it sure doesn’t look that way onscreen.
Antonio Banderas gives a great performance as the outsider who attempts to learn the Viking culture and customs and Omar Sharif also puts in an appearance. The film is a fun ride, if you don’t expect too much.
The 13th Warrior grossed just $32 million at the US Box office and nearly $62 million globally.