John McTiernan and Michael Crichton direct Antonio Banderas, Vladimir Kulich and Diane Venora in this medieval actioner where a Muslim ambassador joins a squad of Vikings to stave off some cannibalistic attacks.
A notorious flop after delays and extensive reshoots pushed the budget up to an unfeasible $160 million. Once it settles into its main siege battle motions it isn’t that bad a film. Diverting, gory and atmospheric. But the storytelling is often risible, characters disappear into the chaos, you are never sure who is dead or has been erased in the rewrites and second tries. What we see is passable, if forgettable. If you worked at Touchstone in 1999 you might give pause at throwing unrecoupable dollars after bad though.
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