It’s not often that I will review a dvd but The Three Musketeers is the exception that casual rule, because, not only have I read the book once, I have read it several times.
Those of you who have had the misfortune of stopping by my blog on more than one occasion will know that this is a complete turnaround from my usual book-to-film disclaimer.
PLOT: D’Artagnan, (Logan Lerman) a young Gasgon, heads off to Paris to join the Musketeers and becomes friends with Athos, (Matthew Macfadyen) Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans) after an altercation with the Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christoph Waltz) Guards.
The Three Musketeers, with D’Artagnan’s help, must stop Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) and Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) from stealing the Queen’s (Juno Temple) diamonds and starting a war between France and England. BLIMPS, damn BLIMPS and more BLIMPS! END PLOT
To say that Paul WS Anderson’s version of The Three Musketeers is loosely based on Dumas’ classic novel would be the understatement of the century. I knew this as I watched the trailer so I cannot sit here and complain about it without coming across like a more obnoxious arse than usual. It doesn’t mean that I am happy about it.
Unfortunately the three Musketeers turn out to be bit players in their own movie and had very little to do. Milady, the Cardinal and the King all had more screen time than the Musketeers whose roles in the film were curiously limited.
I appreciate that Anderson is his wife’s number one fan but if you are going to give Milady so much to do at least film the section of the novel which shows her capture and escape from Lord de Winter. This would show why the character is one of the best female villains around.
On the rare occasions that the Musketeers were on screen Macfadyen, Stevenson and Evans were good fun and their chemistry with Logan Lerman was decent even though I do think he was an odd casting choice. There were a few small glimpses of their very distinct personalities but this was not the film to watch if you wished to see any character development.
Although the humour was more often miss than hit I will admit to giggling at Porthos’ throwaway “I am independently wealthy” line. Ray Stevenson was having a blast and he was great fun as Porthos however Luke Evans, as my favourite Musketeer Aramis, had next to no lines at all and was reduced to nothing more than a horse traffic warden.
I am not a fan of slapstick comedy so the scenes with the King (Freddie Fox), and there were many, were not a welcome addition to an already bloated 110min running time.
The entire film seemed to be one long special effect and there was so many green screen shots I am not sure that a single take was filmed outside! The effects were fairly impressive and the steampunk nature of the gadgets fitted in with the overall feel of the film. Although impressive, there was almost too much reliance on the CGI as it took away from the natural swashbuckling action which should have been given preference.
The Three Musketeers is not a good film yet it was very easy to get sucked in. Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom were having a great time and I am
pleased annoyed to announce that it rubbed off on me.
I wanted to dislike The Three Musketeers and I tried to hate it with a fiery passion but I just couldn’t. I think it is a testament to Dumas that such an empty CGI mess could be endearing. The Three Musketeers gets a 6.5/10…. Now let us never speak of this film and the fucking blimps again.