A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
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Izidore K. Musallam
In AD 922, Arab courtier Ahmad Ibn Fadlan accompanies a party of Vikings to the barbaric North. Ibn Fadlan is appalled by the Vikings customs-- their wanton sexuality, their disregard for cleanliness, their cold-blooded human sacrifices. And then he learns the horrifying truth: he has been enlisted to combat a terror that slaughters the Vikings and devours their flesh. Written by
Loosely based on the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, "Beowulf", whose author is unknown. See more »
In the scene where the warriors are outside talking in a circle (just after they have met with the king), you can see one of the warriors with a war hammer resting across his shoulders. The scene shows the hammer end up and the spike end down, but in the next shot the ends are reversed, and then back again. See more »
I have only these hands. I will die a pauper.
You will be buried as a king.
A man might be thought wealthy if someone were to draw the story of his deeds, that they may be remembered.
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan:
Such a man might be thought wealthy indeed.
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Scandinavian myths and mysteries, brought in a very decent way.
I guess every region has its own legends and saga's, but I've always found the Scandinavian legends about trolls, monsters and ghosts even more intriguing and interesting as ours. It's no wonder that these people have created these legends once. If you've been there and if you've seen the impressive nature with its immense forests and lakes, the fact that the sun never rises in winter and stays 24 hours a day in summer... makes it easy to understand why this is the land of such creatures.
The movie tells the story of an Arab courtier / diplomat who was sent to the barbaric North as a punishment for falling in love with the wrong woman. In AD 922, this could be seen as an execution, because there was no way he would return (it's the same reason why the Catholic Church sent people who had committed awful sins, as pilgrims from our region to Santiago De Compostella in Spain). When they are about to get robbed and killed somewhere in the fields, they manage to escape and accidentally stumble upon a group of Vikings, which saves their lives, because the Barbarians are terrified of these vicious warriors from the North. They soon get befriended and are able to stay with the Vikings, when a young boy, a messenger from the North, comes to the Vikings to ask for help. In their home country many people die because of "an evil whose name should not be pronounced". They consult an oracle who tells them that they should send 13 warriors, but that one of them shouldn't be a Viking. The Arab, however not believing that these mythical creatures from the forests really exist, joins them in their battle against the Wendol...
Normally I'm not too much of a fan of Antonio Banderas' work, but this time I really liked him as the Arab with the impressive name of Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan Ibn Al Abbas Ibn Rashid Ibn Hamad (I guess you better don't try to say that 10 times in a row). The other actors all did a very good job as well, even though I have to admit that I've never heard of most of them before.
The story is nice and well written, the way it was all shot is done properly and overall I must say that I really enjoyed watching this movie. I'm sure that many will not agree, but personally I liked it more than the "The Lord of the Rings" movies. I like legends and mystery in movies and this movie gave me both. I give it a 7.5/10.
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