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All for Fun, but only Fun for Some.

October 26, 2011

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!
An impressive last minute mention: Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) who plays the character, Rochefort, the dark swordsman and primary agent of Cardinal Richelieu.

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.”

BTW, the 3D is noteworthy in several scenes, but it won’t make the movie any better…or worse for that matter. 

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score2 out of 5 stars for “The Three Musketeers

21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2011 3:21 pm

    I wanted big and ludicrous and silly, with swords and airships. That’s pretty much what I got. Still, I’m not surprised one bit that just about everybody hates this film. Good review.


    • October 26, 2011 4:39 pm

      Then, in your eyes, did it meet your expectations? I’ll b sure to check out your review. Thanks for stopping in man.


  2. October 26, 2011 4:09 pm

    It doesn’t look like fun anyway 😦


    • October 26, 2011 4:38 pm

      Hi Kim! It def had its moments. It’s at least worth a rental someday! Thanks for reading!


  3. Jack Deth permalink
    October 26, 2011 6:32 pm

    Hi, ScarlerSp1der and company:

    I’m not really a swordplay kind of guy. With the exception of Errol Flynn’s ‘The Adventures Of Robin Hood’ and Danny Kaye’s ‘The Court Jester’.

    There’s also the conundrum of those who are supposed to be fielding Muskets from a distance always getting into Close Quarters Combat with swords.

    I’m with Kim. The film may appeal to Michael Bay wannabe teen fanboys, but I’ll pass.


    • October 26, 2011 6:48 pm

      I am actually a big fan of both Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood costarring Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye’s The Court Jester. (although I like Danny Kaye more in The Inspector General, Hans Christian Anderson, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty more!) Very nice choices there to enjoy. Did you not like Ivanhoe or the first Pirates of the Caribbean?

      Now, see, I don’t mind Michael Bay films, but this Paul. W. S. Anderson film wasn’t all that great.

      Thanks for the fun and reminiscent comment!


  4. October 26, 2011 6:39 pm

    Nice title, T, very catchy. “Doo-mawh” so THAT’s how one pronounce his name, I thought it was dumb ass, ahah.

    I was initially anticipating this, I mean look at that cast… Christoph, Mads and the 3 Brits playing the musketeers. Alas, I was dissuaded by the dismal reviews. I might still watch it but in the cheap theaters, I figure it’d still be worth $3 bucks 🙂


    • October 26, 2011 6:43 pm

      haha! Ruth! that reminds me of the scene in the library in The Shawshank Redemption! Remember? hahaha

      Yeah, I do really like the cast, but the movie…not so much. $3 is a good investment I’d say, to see it! 😀


  5. October 26, 2011 11:47 pm

    Not for me, I’m really not into the steampunk look of the movie. And the cast really isn’t a draw at all. I doubt I will ever check this out, even if I was on a desert island with nothing to do 😉


    • October 27, 2011 6:45 am

      as the title says…Only fun for some! I wanted it to be better and even welcomed some of the new things they tossed into it, but then it turned into a different story when I watched it.


  6. Matthew Bassett permalink
    October 27, 2011 1:26 am

    I’m sad now…


    • October 27, 2011 6:46 am

      yeah. sorry ’bout that, Matt B! If you decide to check it out, I will be interested in your thoughts. Plenty of action in it, but oftentimes I ended up being bored.


  7. mettemk permalink
    October 27, 2011 3:18 am

    Good thing I didn’t spend any money on this. Not that I don’t like loud, predictable fun – for free, I’m fine with it (like, on TV).


    • October 27, 2011 6:47 am

      TV will be the next place that I watch this film…when nothing else is on.


  8. David Salcido permalink
    October 27, 2011 6:42 am

    I’m a huge fan of the Richard Lester versions, from the early 70s, myself. Michael York as D’Artagnan, with supporting roles by Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed and more. Loved both of those films! Still throw them on, from time to time, and they never get old.


    • October 27, 2011 6:50 am

      Hello, David! Thanks for commenting! I am actually not familiar with Richard Lester versions. How have I missed those ones??! I just looked them up on imdb and am sad to admit that I haven’t ever seen them. Thanks for sharing them. Now I have some catching up to do.


      • October 27, 2011 6:50 am

        An impressive classic cast. You will most likely be highly disappointed in this new one then.


  9. Brandon permalink
    March 31, 2012 12:19 am

    This movie made it to my worst movies list. just a terrible piece of Garbage


    • April 3, 2012 2:46 pm

      LOL. glad you enjoyed it! ha



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