DIRECTED BY: Paul W.S. Anderson
WRITTEN BY: Alex Litvak, Andrew Davies
STARRING: Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Matthew Macfadyen, Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman, Mads Mikkelsen
RATING: 1.5 stars
I don't think I understood this film. Was it to trying to be a clever and witty spoof film like The Princess Bride? If so, it failed. Was it trying to be a quirky and silly uptake on a classic tale? If so, it failed. I'm sure there are audiences who will enjoy this version of The Three Musketeers, but I found myself growing increasingly baffled by the plot and ridiculous use of airships.
Based very loosely on the classic tale by Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers tells the story of Athos (Matthew Macfayden), Aramis (Luke Evans), and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) who are disgraced when they are double-crossed by Milady (Milla Jovovich). A few years later, musketeer-wannabe D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) finds them and inspires them to return to their glory days as heroic musketeers. Meanwhile, corrupt Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) plans to frame the villainous British Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and the Queen (Juno Temple) by suggesting to the bratty King (Freddie Fox) that they are having an affair so that he will start a war with Britain. It is then up to the musketeers so save the day.
The film is full of clichés, historical inaccuracies and more one-liners than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis could handle. It also rip-offs other films like Fistful of Dollars, The Princess Bride, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean, but it's not done in a fun way.
A relatively decent crop of actors also performed poorly in this film and it was largely due to the bad script. Only Waltz gave a decent performance, but even he couldn't save this film. Bloom is not who I would usually cast as a villain, mostly because he is too effeminate (and I mean that in the nicest possible way, but let's be honest, there's a reason why he always plays the lovesick youth as in the Pirates films and Troy for example) but he wasn't too bad as a slimy villain. The others struggled with the bad dialogue and clunky chemistry.
There's no way to sugar-coat this - I walked out of The Three Musketeers wishing I could get those two hours of my life back. Unless you have a 13-year-old boy, I doubt many others will enjoy this film. On a positive note, if you are planning to see this film, I recommend seeing it in 3D. Unlike most feature films made in 3D today, The Three Musketeers uses the 3D effects as more than just a gimmick at the start, but keeps a consistent effect throughout the movie.