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With: Antonio Banderas, Vladimir Kulich, Dennis Storhoi, Daniel Southern, Neil Maffin, John DeSantis, Clive Russell, Mischa Hausserman, Oliver Sveinall, Asbjorn 'Bear' Riis, Richard Bremmer, Tony Curran, Albie Woodington, Omar Sharif, Erick Avari, Sven Wollter, Diane Venora, Anders T. Andersen, Maria Bonnevie
Written by: Warren Lewis, William Wisher, based on a novel by Michael Crichton
Directed by: John McTiernan
MPAA Rating: R for bloody battles and carnage
Running Time: 103
Date: 06/25/1999

The 13th Warrior (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lucky Breaks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, John McTiernan's The 13th Warrior is like a lost member of the Swordplay genre from the early 1980s that spawned such titles as Excalibur (1981) and Conan the Barbarian (1982). Shelved for over a year and probably heavily edited, it's better than it could have been. Indeed, I prefer it to McTiernan's other big 1999 summer movie, The Thomas Crown Affair. Antonio Banderas stars as a 10th Century middle-eastern ambassador who joins in a battle against a tribe of mysterious beast-like warriors. The 13th Warrior is presented in a straightforward and earnest manner with little humor, solid acting, and a largely unknown cast. Although the action and story are not always totally clear, The 13th Warrior should appeal to a small cult of moviegoers and develop a following. (Note: Crichton himself reportedly directed some re-shoots.)

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