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" the 13th warrior " comes at the end of as summer where we've already experienced man eating sharks ( " deep blue sea " ) , man eating crocodiles ( " lake placid " ) and even a man hunting witch ( " the blair witch project " ) .
now , " the 13th warrior " presents a tribe of flesh eating men who believe that they are bears .
the story , if that's what you want to call it , follows ahmed ibn fahdlan ( antonio banderas ) an arabian poet who falls in love with his king's wife and is banished from his home land .
he then travels to the land of the vikings and becomes an ambassador to them .
eventually the vikings are called upon to protect the people of the village who are being hunted by the flesh eating men .
thirteen warriors are chosen to go on the mission , and as you guessed it , ahmed is chosen as the thirteenth .
he's not a warrior , and at first not well accepted by the vikings , but as the movie advances he'll have to prove himself both on and off the battlefield .
that's basically the entire plot .
there is also a romantic subplot that has been so badly mishandled and , one assumes , drastically cut that you begin to wonder why the filmmakers didn't just edit out all of the scenes attaining to that part of the story .
instead they chose to leave just enough of those scenes in to annoy the viewer .
the film is basically non- stop action and when it pauses and tries to develop a story it becomes a laughing stock .
the battle scenes , although well choreographed , are not involving and not the least bit exciting .
we don't get to know any of the characters and so we don't care who lives and who dies .
the film , which wants to be beowolf , comes across more as a failed action-adventure story aspiring to epic proportions but not achieving it on any levels .
it was directed by john mctiernan who's , " the thomas crown affair " is also playing in theaters currently .
and it's not that mctiernan worked simultaneously on both films but that , " the 13th warrior " was placed on the shelf for so long with the studio just waiting for a time to dump it on audiences .
it belongs back on the shelf .