What to see on Disney+: a spectacular Viking movie with Antonio Banderas and an essential action film director

One of the best Hollywood movies that these Nordic warriors have had on screen is on the Disney streaming platform. Don’t miss ‘The 13th Warrior’.

Now the Vikings are more present than ever thanks to movies like The Northman or series like Vikings: Valhalla, which are being successful on their platform. They fare better than one of Hollywood’s most ambitious efforts to put these Nordic warriors on screen, who after a commercial failure it became a cult jewel. This is Warrior #13.

Directed by John McTiernan, one of the best action directors and an essential in the commercial cinema of the nineties, the film is available on the Disney+ streaming platform. It has the peculiar presence of Antonio Banderas as the protagonist, as well as Diane Venora and Omar Sharif completing the cast.

Based on ‘Corpse Eaters‘ by Michael Crichton, the author of Jurassic Park who ended up involved in the production at a very delicate moment, the film tells us the story of Ahmed, an Arab ambassador played by Banderas. By courting the wrong woman, this Arab representative is expelled from their lands in a sudden way.

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Forced by circumstances, the man travels to the North, where he meets a group of warriors from a Viking town who are being attacked and killed by beasts. According to a diviner’s vision, all warriors will die if they do not have one more among their ranks. Ahmed must join them as soon as possible and fight against these terrible creatures.

McTiernan had dominated the action cinema of the late 1980s and 1990s, with films like Predator, Crystal jungle either The Hunt for Red October as greatest hits to his credit. Taking on a Viking movie, although an ambitious challenge, seemed within his possibilities. The end result speaks well of his ability to do powerful images, barbaric rawness and spectacular actionBut it wasn’t easy to get there.

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The filming went crazy, with the budget inflated to 160 million dollars due to problems and cost overruns. To make matters worse, McTiernan’s version of the film was unconvincing in test screenings, with many complaining that it was confusing. Michael Crichton had to intervene to carry out additional filming of the scene to make a clearer montage.

The end result works, beyond any doubt, but the public did not end up coming to it. Its $61 million box office was by all accounts low and it became one of the biggest flops of that era. Still, the film is well worth the money thanks to a very solid Banderas, his high capacity for entertainment and his good sense of epic.

You can see The 13th warrior on Disney+.

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