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 in a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.
During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking's Iron Age weaponry.
A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Max von Sydow,
A cultured diplomat joins a band of savage warriors in time to meet an even more fearsome enemy in this historical adventure. In 922 A.D., Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) is a Muslim emissary from Baghdad en route to meet with the King of Saqaliba when he is captured by a gang of Vikings. While Ibn and his people are intelligent and well-mannered, the Vikings are a rowdy and sometimes unpleasant lot, with an unquenchable appetite for food, alcohol, and women. However, in time he develops an understanding and respect for the Viking warriors and is welcomed into their society by their leader, Buliwyf. However, Ibn must now join them as they return to their homeland once they receive word of an invasion by a huge pack of bloodthirsty invaders who will destroy and eat anything in their path -- including the flesh of the men they have killed.
When Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas) and Melchisidek (Sharif) enters the tent at the beginning of the movie the latter speaks Greek which eventually leads to a conversation with the viking Herger (Storhoi). Melchisidek speaks Greek, and though Herger obviously understands Greek he responds in Latin which Melchisidek fortunately understands.
Though it is not stated why a Northman could understand both Latin and Greek as there were no official connection between Scandinavia and Byzantine in the 10th century, the logical assumption would be that Herger learned the languages due to him taking part in the viking raids/travels into modern day Russia (where the first scenes are filmed) and from there south into what was then the Byzantine Empire. The dominant language of the Byzantium realm was Greek with Latin as a second language. The vikings made at least one attempt at conquering the capital of the Byzantium Empire: Constantinople. See more »
When Herger offers Ahmed mead, in which Ahmed refuses because he can't drink fermented grapes or wheat, the shape and position of the horn of mead alters drastically. See more »
[before the final battle, Weilew brings a wrapped bundle to Olga, waiting in the cellar of the Great Hall, with the village's children]
When the time comes...
[She unwraps the bundle to reveal a set of daggers. Olga takes the bundle and hastily covers it again]
*Don't* let them be taken!
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In the early years of the 10th century, an exiled Arabian nobleman falls in with a band of Vikings. Disgusted by their poor hygiene and their barbaric ways, he nevertheless reluctantly agrees to accompany them to a distant kingdom, where an unspeakable menace terrorizes the land.
This is an interesting interpretation of the tale of Beowulf, with the monster Grendel transformed into the fierce Wendol, a tribe of cannibalistic Neanderthals who have somehow survived long past their time. Despite the fact that Banderas is the title character and credited as the star, he is not the hero here at all. The band of 13 is led by the huge and intimidating Buliwyf (read Beowulf), a hero among his people who must battle both the Wendol and their deadly "mother." Alexander Gudonov lookalike Vladimir Kulich is the hero of this film, and delivers a strong, amazing performance. Banderas spends much of the film bumbling, stumbling, screwing up and trying to keep up with the Vikings, who look upon him with contempt but finally, perhaps grudgingly, accept him.
Okay, so it's not entirely historically accurate and suffers from production problems and an occasional overdose of testosterone, but it's not a bad movie by any means. The casting is great, with standout performances by the aforementioned Kulich as well as Dennis Storhoi as Herger, Banderas's translator and only friend; the handsome Scottish actor Tony Curran (in an unlikely kilt, but who cares?!?!) as the Celt Weath and the woefully underrated Richard Bremmer as the intimidating tattooed redheaded (and damn sexy!) Skeld. The film was worth watching for these three men alone, but then, I am female and perhaps a bit prejudiced in my opinions. These guys are HOT! But, I digress...
Beautiful scenery, tense and bloody battles and a claustrophobic climax in a bone strewn cave lift this movie well above average. There's something for everyone here; fans of horror, fans of action, fans of classic literature should all find something to enjoy about this film. It may not be the best film ever made, but its still one of my very favorites.
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