The Three Musketeers

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In Venice, the Three Musketeers Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans), with the help of Athos’ lover, Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich), steal airship blueprints made by Leonardo Da Vinci. However, they are betrayed by Milady, who gives the blueprints to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). Upon returning to France, the Musketeers are forced to disband by Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) for their failure.

One year later, the young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) leaves Gascony for Paris in hopes of becoming a Musketeer, like his father once was, only to learn that they no longer exist. D’Artagnan ends up challenging Captain Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), the leader of Richelieu’s guard, to a duel after being offended by him, but Rochefort merely shoots him while he’s distracted. In an attempt to get revenge, D’Artagnan offends Athos, Porthos and Aramis for petty reasons, and schedules duels with each of them, at the same day and at the same place, but in different times, not knowing who they are.

Before they can duel, however, D’Artagnan and the Musketeers are attacked by the guards for breaking the law by having a public duel. They fight the soldiers off, at which point D’Artagnan discovers their true identities, but end up being captured and brought before the young King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox) and his wife, Queen Anne (Juno Temple). Richelieu attempts to convince them to execute the four prisoners, but they are too impressed, and congratulate them instead, much to Richelieu’s anger.

Later, Richelieu meets with Milady, who is actually working for him. He orders her to plant false love letters among Queen Anne’s possessions and steal Queen Anne’s diamond necklace and hide it in the Tower of London with the objective of framing Queen Anne of having an affair with the Duk of Buckingham, who is in France on behalf of the King of England, and who has built a fully armed airship using the designs stolen from the Musketeers. The affair would force King Louis to execute Queen Anne and declare war on England. At this point, the people would demand a more experienced leader for the country: Richelieu himself. Before leaving, Milady demands that Richelieu gives her an authorization declaring that she was working on behalf of France’s best interests.

However, Queen Anne’s lady-in-waiting Constance Bonacieux (Gabriella Wilde) discovers his plan and pleads with the Musketeers to stop Richelieu. They follow Milady and Buckingham to London, while Constance is kidnapped by Rochefort for helping the Musketeers to escape from him. Meanwhile, King Louis finds the false letters and is advised by Richelieu to set up a ball in which Queen Anne would be forced to wear the necklace. If she doesn’t, then her affair is real, and there will be war.

In London, Milady warns Buckingham of the Musketeers arrival, claiming that they want revenge for being outsmarted by Buckingham one year prior. Buckingham captures D’Artagnan and prepares to interrogate him when D’Artagnan reveals that he was acting as a decoy to allow the Musketeers to steal Buckingham’s airship. They rescue D’Artagnan and capture Milady, who gives them the authorization in an attempt to have her life spared. Upon realizing she failed, she jumps out of the airship into the English Channel.

The Musketeers recover the necklace and return to London, only to be attacked by Rochefort, piloting an airship secretly built by Richelieu, who was given copies of Da Vinci’s blueprints by Milady. Rochefort feigns an attempt to exchange Constance for the necklace in order to capture D’Artagnan, but the Musketeers come to his rescue and the two ships crash in the Notre Dame Cathedral, where D’Artagnan fights and defeats Rochefort, rescuing Constance, who returns the necklace to Queen Anne.

The Musketeers arrive at the ball and, for the sake of King Louis’ and his people, lie by saying that Rochefort was trying to sabotage an airship that Richelieu built for them, for the purpose of identifying a traitor. To convince King Louis, Athos presents Milady’s authorization, which King Louis accepts. Richelieu, satisfied, offers the Musketeers a place in his army, but they refuse, which infuriates Richelieu, who swears revenge.

Meanwhile, in London, Milady is rescued by Buckingham, who reveals that he intents to avenge her and destroy the Musketeers. It is revealed that Buckingham is advancing towards France with a massive fleet of airships and sea-faring ships

REVIEW:

One review I heard about this film said that it was “yet another in a long line of unnecessary (modern) interpretations on the classics [sic]”.

I have to agree and disagree with that statement. On one hand there have been countless takes on The Three Musketeers, most of which are forgetful. On the flipside of things, this version is a new take on the Dumas classic.

It has been some time since I’ve read the actual novel, so details are a bit sketchy, at best, in my head, but with a few exceptions, I think this kep pretty close to the source material, which is a huge plus. It is a well-known fact that I don’t particularly care for massive deviations from the source material.

Now, this film was another of those wonderful 3D flicks (not the sarcasm, there). No, I didn’t shell out the extra $$$ for it. I did think about it, though. For some reason, I was thinking the Milla Jovovich scene would be great in 3D. Strangely enough, the few scenes that looked like they might be worth seeing in 3D were all contained in the first 10 minutes of the film.

One would thing with all the swordplay that should be encompassed in a film like this that some thrusts and parrys towards the audience would be great use of the 3D. Not to mention those death-defying traps Milla had to twist and turn through in bullet time. I guess that would just make too much sense, though. At least, to my knowledge, it was converted at the last minute.

The action scenes in the film are great. Of course, it is kind of hard to screw up swashbuckling sword fights and an occasional pistol thrown in there for good measure.

The airship scenes are amazing. Whether you like this film or not, that climactic battle is a must-see.

If there is a drawback to the action part of this flick, it has to be the overuse of bullet time. This is something that has been plaguing films ever since the release of The Matrix. For some reason, filmmakers have felt that since it worked so well there, they need to keep it going ad nauseum. While in some instances, it is a good technique, there is sch a thing as too much.

The plot, as I mention, is very close to the actual novel, so I can’t fault them for that, but I think that they didn’t spend enough time developing the musketeers. I say this because it seemed like every other scene was either the Cardinal or Milady (who just happens to be married to the director).

I have a bit of an issue with the cast. The film is set in France, and yet almost every member of the cast has a British accent! WTF?!? That isn’t right!

On top of that, the way Louis and Anne were portrayed irked me. I know he is supposed to be something of a petulant child and whatnot, but his obsession with fashion and his mannerisms led me to believe that he was homosexual.

With Queen Anne, I couldn’t help but think of the child-like princess from The Neverending Story or the empress in Dungeons & Dragons. This is not to say that is a bad thing, especially given that she was youthful, I just think she looked a little too young.

The musketeers, on the other hand,m were perfectly cast, though I couldn’t help but think of Aramis, played by Luke Evans, as some kind of mixture of Antonio Banderas and Orlando Bloom.

Logan Lerman, who you may know better as Percy Jackson, really shocked me with his acting chops in this film. I honestly wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he was. Tell me again, why they didn’t want him to be Spider-Man in that unnecessary reboot?

As D’Artagnan, he has that youthful exuberance and cockiness we have come to expect from the character, and he seems to have some really good chemistry with the musketeers which is what was really necessary to make this believable

One review I read called Orlando Bloom’s performance as the villainous Buckingham “cartoonish”. Well, you know what, for the tone of this film it really works! On top of that, how often do we get to see him as a villain? If he wants to go all Snidely Whiplash with his villanous exploits, then by all means, don’t criticize the man. I think he did a good job.

Christoph Waltz was great, but there were times when it seemed as if he was making an attempt to channel John Malkovich with his speech patterns. It was kind of odd.

Milla Jovovich, for all her beauty and hotness, just did not belong in the world. There are some actresses that just seem like they were made for period roles, Milla is not one of them. On the other hand, though, she did a decent job portraying the duality of Milady and her deceptions, as well as pulling off those stunts, but let’s be truthful here…if not for her husband directing, she would not have been in this role.

One more note about Milla…she apparently has been criticizing Summit Entertainment for marketing this as a “family film” and accusing them of only promoting the Twilight films, while all the rest of their films have to fend for themselves.

I see where she’s coming from with the second half of that accusation. There wasn’t much promotion on this side of the pond. I think the only interview I saw for it was Orlando Bloom on Chelsea Lately, which isn’t exactly the most influential audience (even if it does include me). Yet, when that new Twilight flick comes out they’re sure to shove it down our throats.

As far as the family film aspect goes, I don’t recall them ever saying this was a family film. If they did, it was only because it was one of those previews before something more family friendly and was just a break from the animated trailers. I don’t know how well this is doing at the box office this weekend, but my guess si that it isn’t doing as well as she thinks it could be, given the scathing reviews its been getting.

Despite those reviews, I checked it out myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is what you might call a popcorn film. Lots of action, a little romance, a little comedy, and some explosions. What else do you need, seriously? By all means, yes, you should rush out and see this, just don’t pay for the 3D, it won’t be worth it.

Now I want a 3 Musketeers candy bar!

4 out of 5 stars

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2 thoughts on “The Three Musketeers

  1. Pingback: Elektrische Zahnbuerste

  2. Pingback: The Three Musketeers « Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog | Orlando Bloom

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