The Three Musketeers (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/10/2011

One out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Pointless and frequently stupid remake of Dumas' classic adventure story that's just no fun at all, thanks to a dimwitted script, some dreadful performances, some irritating “steampunk” nonsense, over stylised action scenes and Anderson's generally irritating direction.

What's it all about?
Directed by Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil), The Three Musketeers is based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas (although it feels more like it was based on the 1973 movie by Richard Lester) and stars Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) as D'Artagnan, an impoverished young swordsman who comes to 17th century Paris in the hopes of joining the King's Musketeers. After unwittingly challenging the famous Three Musketeers – Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) – to a fight, D'Artagnan joins forces with them in order to help foil a plot against the French throne that involves the fiendish Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and treacherous double-agent Milady De Winter (Milla Jovovich).

The Bad
Anderson's retooled version sets out its stall from the opening sequence, in which the Musketeers (armed with all sorts of flashy gadgetry) and Milady (who is Athos' lover) stage a heist and steal some designs by Da Vinci that will be Important For Later. Needless to say, this “steampunk” version is more dumb-ass than Dumas and it really doesn't work at all; it's also further undone by some dreadful dialogue (the script uses anachronistic words like “retro”) and Anderson's tendency to add slow-motion and flashy editing to every action scene.

The performances are equally dreadful: Lerman is extremely bland as D'Artagnan (and when he's not bland, he's unlikeably cocky), while Orlando Bloom is staggeringly awful as Buckingham. Stevenson, Evans and Jovovich (who at least looks the part) do their best and Mikkelsen (one-eyed AGAIN as the villainous Rochefort) is good value as always, but Macfadyen often looks like he'd much rather be somewhere else, while Gabriella Wilde is embarrassingly terrible as Constance (the Queen's handmaiden) and has zero chemistry with Lerman.

The Worse
However, all other poor performances pale into insignificance beside the horror that is James Corden mugging away as the Musketeers' “comedy” servant Planchet (Roy Kinnear is surely turning in his grave). On top of that, the film just isn't any fun – all the comedy moments fall flat, while the supposedly cool steampunk elements are just ridiculous and the occasional good bit during a fight scene isn't enough to compensate for all the stupidity elsewhere.

Worth seeing?
The Three Musketeers is something of a disaster, thanks to a flat script, some dreadful performances and a stultifying lack of actual fun. Watch the Gene Kelly version instead. Hell, watch the Charlie Sheen version instead.

Film Trailer

The Three Musketeers (M)
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Content updated: 16/09/2019 06:58

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