NETFLIX SYNOPSIS: It’s feast or famine when Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Antonio Banderas), a 10th century Arab ambassador, is sent to make peaceful contact with the barbaric Vikings. Soon, he finds himself in the midst of a battle between the Norsemen and the Wendol, fearsome warriors known as the Eaters of the Dead. Ahmed is faced with a daunting choice: fight alongside the Vikings — or die.
REVIEW: Not everyone likes Beowulf. Michael Crichton wrote the book “Eaters of the Dead” on a dare from a literature professor friend who considered Beowulf one of the greatest bores of the English language. Crichton thought he could make something of it, and since somewhere it is written that all Michael Crichton novels must have movie adaptations, we have “The 13th Warrior.” The book and film tell the story from the perspective of an Arab intellectual, playd by Antonio Banderas, exiled from Baghdad due to some romantic indiscretion. He takes up with some Vikings on the Volga River, and before long he’s heading north with “Buliwyf” and his warriors to fight the “Wendol.” The names are changed, but it’s the same story. The book was a somewhat interesting interpretation, the movie less so, but it held my interest so I rated it 3 of 5. Were I to rate it again today, it might drop to 2.