The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

The Three Musketeers is a poor rip off of other films and computer games. It has more to do with trying to remake Pirates Of The Caribbean in France than with filming Dumas' novel. Yes it has three Musketeers and a d'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), and it has a necklace that needs to be recovered, but that's about as close to the book as it gets. The film cracks off with a major departure. Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) with his ninja diving gear and katana slung flick crossbows, Aramis (Luke Evans) as a substandard Altair clone (Assassins' Creed) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) with a similarly stupid shtick are teamed up with Milady De Winter (Milla Jovovich) to rob Leonardo De Vinci's' vault in Venice. After sword fights, Tomb Raider-style acrobatics and trap springing, De Winter betrays the Musketeers and makes off to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) with the plans for an airship. Airships then play a major role in the rest of the film. Built with the hulls of war galleons they provide the platform for much unbelievable Steampunk Pirates crossover action.

The plot, rather than being driven by logic and dramatic concerns, is a vehicle for in your face 3D effects. They are spectacular but their novelty quickly wears thin. Reality and internal consistency are repeatedly defied in favour of action sequences with huge depth of views. There is some rather good costume work which does look good in 3D. Louie XIII (Freddie Fox) and Buckingham use clothes to spar with each other. The heavily textured cloths work to express their mutual enmity. Some of the transitions between scenes do not work well in 3D. The fading from one bit of 3D footage to another is often clunky. The use of model armies on maps of Europe as the heroes travel between locations is poor.

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The characters in the film are very much 2D. None of them have much more than a single defining characteristic. Some of the actors, particularly Jovovich, look like they are having great fun bounding through the pantomime plot and dialogue. At times some of them seem quite self conscious about what they are doing. This detracts from the energy that is the film's best quality. The minute the film looses pace, you see all of its problems and how ridiculous it looks.

The Three Musketeers is not nearly as good as the things it draws on: not the action from Pirates of the Caribbean or Tomb Raider; not the fight screens from Hong Kong action that come via The Matrix; not the visuals from anime or games like Assassins' Creed. Beyond its energy and some very nice costumes it doesn't have much going for it.

Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2011
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The Three Musketeers packshot
The Musketeers of legend must unite to thwart an evil plot that threatens to plunge Europe into war.
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Director: Paul WS Anderson

Writer: Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies, based on the book by Alexandre Dumas.

Starring: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich, Christoph Waltz, Juno Temple, Orlando Bloom

Year: 2011

Runtime: 110 minutes

Country: Germany, France, UK, US


SSFF 2011

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