Over 20 films exist that tell the daring tales of the infamous Three Musketeers first penned in 1625 by author Alexander Dumas (pronounced “Doo-mawh”).
The Three Musketeers is actually the first of a collection 3 novels written by Dumas that is commonly referred to as the D’Artagnan Romances. (Coincidentally, Dumas also wrote The Count of Monte Cristo.)
The challenge for director Paul W. S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Death Race) and this latest reimaging of this classic story was to present the story in a new, yet familiar way, that did not overcrowd the beauty and the simplicity of the plot.
…These three musketeers didn’t quite succeed in that quest.
While including the impressive cast of Milla Jovavich (Resident Evil), Matthew MacFadyen (Pride and Prejudice), Ray Stevenson (King Arthur), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans), Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings), Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians), Juno Temple (Atonement), and more, this remake did not use them to their greatest potential, and left much to be desired.
- Milla Jovavich seemed cast solely for her ability to look good while performing high flying stunts and fight scenes (which she is used to doing in almost every single one of her roles). The rest of her performance as Milady Winter would have been better suited for several other actresses in her stead.
- Other performances in the film were tolerable at best, and laughable at worst. Those which fit this category:
- Orlando Bloom as the evil Duke of Buckingham,
- Juno Temple as the Queen, and
- Freddie Fox as King Louis XIII of France. (I actually enjoyed Fox’s performance because he reminded me of The Duke in Moulin Rouge.)
- The best performance award goes to the 3 -well, 4- musketeers!
- MacFadyen as Athos,
- Stevenson as Porthos,
- Evans as Aramis, and
- Lerman as D’Artagnan. All played excellent tributes to the characters they portrayed. VERY appropriately!
The main problem with this version of The Three Musketeers is that the film itself cannot decide between being just a great Three Musketeers movie, or being a conglomerate of Shelock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mask of Zorro, and a little bit of The Matrix (for the slo-mo)! Innovation is great, but when there is too much in a film, it detracts from the story and distracts from its beauty. This causes it to be more of a bore and not as much fun for some as it should have been.
In a different way, we’ve seen this happen with another classic tale retold: Robin Hood. (While Robin Hood was not the victim of overly indulgent special effects, the innovation in changes with the storyline caused it to not succeed as well as other Robin Hood tales of the past.) The Three Musketeers share Sir Robin’s fate.
Their tale also has way too many stories going on:
- D’Artagnan’s quest to join the Musketeers of fame,
- King Louis XIII’s ignorant childish rule and pursuit of love,
- Milady Winter’s evil schemes and plots,
- Duke Buckinham’s wild lust for power that rivaled his hair’s lust for absurdity,
- The three Musketeers fighting for a cause to believe and fight for,
- And…oh, yeah…what do we even remember the 3 Musketeers for? Their fight against the evil Cardinal. He’s in it too, I almost forgot! Christoph Waltz plays as Cardinal Richelieu. He’s no Tim Curry, but he’ll do!
As expected with this film, plenty of comic relief, and then, comic relief to relieve you from the comic relief! A familiar story with an expected end (that remains open for a sequel). Plenty of action, sword fighting, gun fighting, and…an airship?? Enjoy The Three Musketeers for what it is: The Wild Wild West in France! A lot of it is done for fun, and delivers a fun time! But all in all, it is…
“All for Fun, but only Fun for Some.”
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 2 out of 5 stars for “The Three Musketeers”