Hey folks.... Harry here.
You know, some movies are just 2 hours and some
movies are a lifetime. What John McTiernan and
Michael Crichton did in making THE 13TH
WARRIOR is to give you 2 hours.
I feel they succeed.
It seems critics are ravaging the film. Tearing it from
limb to limb, but I can not in good conscience do that.
Now I will not say this is a perfect film or that it came
anywhere near flawless filmmaking.
Those ugly nighttime shots where the sky is this
hidieous blue and it looks like crap in a semi-NTSC
video haze.... UGH! Surely someone in the world
told McTiernan that that sequence in THE HUNT
FOR RED OCTOBER where the Red October is
going up the Potomac (I think that’s the river) was
hidieously ugly. I hate that fake blue.
And during those scenes I just cringed and bit my
pinky fingernail to that lighter pink area. Ugh.
I couldn’t help but think that in all the time this film
sat on a shelf, somebody didn’t tell them.... Hey...
Let’s have POP do a really beautiful night sky with a
billion specks of stars gleaming behind them. WHY
HAVE IT LOOK LIKE BLUE CARDSTOCK?
Or... Why go with a predominantly Muslim themed
score by Goldsmith? This film SCREAMED to be
scored by Poledouris and those battles needed to have
an EPIC feel to them. Instead the music made them...
Lastly... Man.... I wish we had seen more interaction
amongst the 13. I feel as if I barely knew the men
who died. In THE MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN.... we
know all the guys. We know what drives them, what
makes them fight just so they can have a place to live.
Of course... with 13 such characters... I can
understand the anemia of character development
amongst the whole.
Oh... and one other nitpick. The fight scenes. My
god... Pull your friggin camera back... Let’s see what
is happening in there. To me.... it felt as if the
entirety of the action was shot through medium to
close-ups.... very few mastershots. Nothing to give
you any real sense of scale to the battles.
Now... I know. From the look of this review I’m
trashing it. But... nothing could be farther from the
truth. I hold this genre to a very high ideal. I want
films as good as say... Richard Fleischer’s THE
VIKINGS..... or EL CID.
I am still waiting on an epic sword film to give me the
etheral feeling of a Frazetta painting. That raw
intensity and emotion. The sense of power and
So... Right now, I’m in a holding pattern. The next
film I must hope to nail it dead on is Luc Besson’s
JOAN OF ARC. Then after that I guess I must hope
upon Ridley Scott’s THE GLADIATOR. And still....
after that I must pray that Peter Jackson flawlessly
delivers THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But ya
This movie kills the time. It isn’t a great film in the
genre. Some may even argue that it’s not even a good
one. But I will argue right back atcha.
I am a Six Foot Tall, 318 pound, long red-haired,
burly bearded fella that somewhere in the back of his
head fantasizes about cleaving people and monsters in
half with a great double-bladed axe whilst riding upon
a great steed pumping a chiminey’s worth of smoke
from it’s nostrils while cascades of crimson gore part
I spent years of my life working at a Rennasaince Fair
in costume and in character for weekends at a time.
Bladed weapon upon my hip and an accent every bit
I love bloody hack and dice action films. And this
one isn’t quite as glorious as THE SWORD AND
THE SORCERER.... and nowhere near the hallmarks
of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and EXCALIBUR.
It’s not quite at the LADYHAWKE or FLESH &
BONE level either. But.... It doesn’t suck.
There are segments where the movie nails it. Where I
can feel that early man bonding thing happening and I
want to get in there and sink my bladed weapon till I
hear the cracking and breaking of bone and sinew.
There are points where, as cornball as it may sound, I
shed tears of pride at that Viking Prayer moment.....
You’ll know the one.
I love the fact that other than Omar Shariff and
Antonio Banderas.... I don’t know ANY of these big
mofos. All I know is.... They kick ass!
This is the sort of film, that had it had a score of
IMMENSE POWER.... I would have forgave every
single flaw I have mentioned. As it is, I forgave
many of them simply because.... for the moments that
it does work.... I am all smiles.
This is a two hour movie. For the two hours I
watched I was happy and glad to be in the place and
time that I was in. However... This isn’t EL CID or
EXCALIBUR.... movies that I take with me and love
all the days I walk and breathe.