Review: The Three Musketeers 3D
PLOT: Young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) journeys to Paris, hoping to join his Musketeer idols, Athos (Matthew MacFayden), Aramis (Luke Evans), and Porthos (Ray Stevenson). He arrives to find the Musketeers, recently betrayed by the duplicitous Milady (Milla Jovovich), dejected and reduced to brawling drunkenly with the power-mongering Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christophe Waltz) guards. Meanwhile, the evil Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) plots to take over France with the help of his flying war machine. If that last part sounds stupid, that’s only because it is…
REVIEW: After sitting (or rather, suffering) through TWIXT at TIFF, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was so bad, I figured that nothing else could possibly come out that would be nearly as bad- but alas, I hadn’t yet suffered through Paul W.S Anderson’s THREE MUSKETEERS. Nothing, repeat, NOTHING could have prepared me for the absolute agony I’d suffer through here.
They’re calling this an updating of Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale for “modern audiences”. Bullshit. This is an updating for morons.
I can imagine how the pitch meeting for this must have gone:
“Hey, did you see the grosses on SHERLOCK HOLMES? Wow, this reboot thing is gold I tell ya, GOLD. If it worked for SHERLOCK, how about THREE MUSKETEERS? But wait, isn’t there a lot of talking in THREE MUSKETEERS? Talking is GAAAAY. And explosions- there aren’t any! WTF? How can we expect anyone to go see a movie without explosions? Oh, we can throw some in? Wicked- just as long as they’re CG. And the sword fights, fine, at least we can have them poke at the screen in 3D- and THIS HAS to be 3D- but can we have some flying ships too? Oh, you mean there weren’t any in the 19th century! Well fine! We’ll just use Da Vinci’s old designs to explain things. Yeah, sure- it worked for HUDSON HAWK. Ok, so let’s get some blimps in this! Also, there sure are a lot of guys in THREE MUSKETEERS. What a sausage fest! Wait a second, how about we turn Milady de Winter into an ass-kicking assassin, with lots of slo-mo action like in RESIDENT EVIL. Oh wait, Milla’s available? Nice. For the rest of the guys - umm, PUNISHER, that guy from ROBIN HOOD who played the sheriff, and umm, for the other one, just get the guy who played the sheriff’s sidekick. He’s British, right? Good. Need an American for D’Artagnan though. PERCY JACKSON? Hell yeah, we got ourselves a movie!”
OK, I know I`m being a twerp with my review so far, but I just despised everything this film stands for. THE THREE MUSKETEERS is a classic story, and it’s awfully hard to screw up, but Anderson found a way. I know a lot of people think he`s only about half a step up from Uwe Boll, but I think he has some talent. EVENT HORIZON proved that, and the RESIDENT EVIL movies are OK for what they are.
Heck, even if they had given THREE MUSKETEERS a SHERLOCK-style updating, it could have worked. SHERLOCK was a classy, fun ride that, despite being amped up to 11, still stayed faithful in spirit to the stories. This on the other hand, is absolute hacky trash that`s manages to screw up Dumas` story so completely (or whatever`s left of it), that`s your jaw will be on the floor marveling at the sheer badness of it all.
What a shame, as we really could use a fun updating of MUSKETEERS. The last two versions, which were the '93 Disney version and the Peter Hyams Wire-Fu THE MUSKETEER were both bad in their own way, although they both come off smelling like a rose next to this. I could easily see a top director making an amazing, action-packed trilogy out of Dumas`original MUSKETEERS series of novels (including TWENTY YEARS LATER, and THE VICOMTE OF BRAGLONNE, which got a pretty decent film from Randall Wallace in the nineties as THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK).
Surprisingly, the casting here isn’t bad. MacFayden, Evans, and Stevenson are actually solid choices (Evans will likely breakout big time after THE HOBBIT, and MacFayden is a heck of a good actor), but the dialogue they`re given is absolute trash. At one point, Evans as Aramis, complains that someone`s horse "took a dump" and Stevenson, as Porthos, threatens to "kick some ass." It feels like the script was written by a frat boy, who thinks the Musketeer story comes from "that wicked nineties flick with Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland."
The person I really feel bad for here is Logan Lerman, who, while BADLY miscast, puts a lot of energy into his role as D`Artagnan. This is really the wrong role for him, but it`s clear the kid`s got talent.
Heck, most of the people in this have talent, even Orlando Bloom, who`s unfairly been tainted by the failure of ELIZABETHTOWN and the perceived failure of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (a great film). He tries to have a little fun as Buckingham, and of everyone, he probably comes off the best- which is to say, not very good. As for Christophe Waltz, once again, he plays Hans Landa, and it would be nice to see him stretch a bit (although I imagine he`ll get his chance in CARNAGE, and DJANGO UNCHAINED which, in the script, is yet another iconic role).
Pretty much the only positive thing I can say about THE 3D MUSKETEERS is that the 3D is actually pretty good, although the constant thrusting of swords at the screen is gimmicky in the extreme.
For all I know, Anderson's a nice enough guy, but what he`s done to the THREE MUSKETEERS is criminal. It's downright vulgar at how stupid Anderson seems to think his audience is, and if people slap down fifteen bucks to see this, they`re being suckered. Please, DO NOT go see THE 3D MUSKETEERS, as it`s everything bad about movies today tied up in a hideous little package. Oh yeah, and it ends with the threat of a sequel. God forbid.
|Extra Tidbit:||The best D'Artagnan is still Gene Kelly. For Athos, I'd say it's a toss-up between Oliver Reed and John Malkovich. Aramis is Jeremy Irons. Porthos- call me crazy, but Oliver Platt.|