Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Michael Crichton Week: The 13th Warrior.

Howdy all and welcome to the week. Well I have not been getting any requests on either Rotten Reelz Reviews or Rotten Ramblin' On so I thought maybe starting up a group on Facebook so folks could drop a remark, request or restraining order. Whatever fits your mood. Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.

Today's film hails from acclaimed director John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Medicine Man, Last Action Hero, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Thomas Crowne Affair and Rollerball) to bring us some awesome action, compelling drama and a dark tale to be told of bravery and valor. However, none of this could be possible without our novelist/screenplay writer Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain, A Case of Need, Binary, Westworld, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Looker, Runaway, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Twister, Sphere and Timeline) conjuring up this battle of good vs evil. This is The 13th Warrior.

As long as my career doesn't go south.

A poet/storyteller and lesser Arabian nobleman Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Antonio Banderas of Matador, Baton Rouge, The Mambo Kings, Interview with the Vampire, Desperado, Four Rooms, Assassins, The Mask of Zorro, Original Sin, Shrek 2, Thick as Thieves, The Expendables 3 and Knight of Cups) has been exiled by the sultan to be an "ambassador" of good will and to report back his findings of a distant land. Stopping for a restock of supplies at a village port, there is much debate of a kingdom under seige from monsters that come in the night and slay their most able men. They cry out for warriors attended to give the battle back to these monsters. Among these men a staggering man of 6' 5", great warrior and chieftain's son Buliwf (Vladimir Kulich of Highlander, Necronomicon, Red Scorpion 2, Ground Zero, Silence, Angel, Ironclad, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Vikings and The Equalizer) offers his skills and blade. An ancient seer tosses her runes to see the future and proceeds to tell each man they will join Buliwf on this sacred aid for mercy including Ahmed.

Sail Away!!!

Connecting with these barbaric men, Ahmed attempts to not only understand their language but be able to speak it as well. Herger (Dennis Storhoi of Mot i brostet, Vestavind, Eva's Eye, The Longest Journey, Captain Sabertooth, Ved kongens bord, Shameless and Two Lives) becomes Ahmed's constant companion and guide to this land and its people that Ahmed has never known the like.


The village is almost all but destroyed, no defensive walls, men at posts or even proper archery stands. With his health failing King Hrothgar (Sven Wollter of Sally, A Song for Martin, False Accusation, Birthmarked, Kira's Reason: A Love Story, Suxxess, Dieselrattor och sjonmasmoss and Molly in the World) speaks of these unholy beasts that sneak in the middle of the night, rousing no one from their slumber and proceed to lop the heads off their opponents...and take them with them. They simply are known as The Eaters of the Dead. Eerie I know but what can you do? Oh right, mount up a war party to dispatch these beasts. The party must use every ounce of their skills and tenacity to stomach bringing these monsters down. Can Ahmed become a warrior? Will these Norsemen battle to the last man? Can anything be done to save the land and its people?

A few points of interest and my lack of observation. I either forgot or was just now brought to the light that Queen Weilew (Diane Venora of The Cotton Club, A.D., F/X, Bird, Thunder Alley, Chicago Hope, Heat, Romeo + Juliet, The Jackal, The Insider and Hamlet) seemed like such a pillar of the people I had either no idea she was of royalty or simply did not register. May have something to do with that fop of a son of hers. I think I would have beheaded the little puke.

Composer Jerry Goldsmith (The Waltons, Outland, The Secret of NIMH, Supergirl, Rambo III, Star Trek V: Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Congo, Mulan and Star Trek: Insurrection) breathes life into every scene with the amazing job. One of the Viking ships used in the movie is currently residing in the EPCOT center at Disney World where it's part of a playground for kids now. Avast!!

So the traditional burning of the town virgin is a real crowd pleaser then?