Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Three Musketeers on DVD

The 1993 version of The Three Musketeers, starring Tim Curry among others, was one of my favorite movies growing up, so I was pretty excited to see this version, crazy as it seemed it might be with fantastical elements, including airships. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed. There were things I liked about it, but overall, the dialog was a little cliche, the plot was overly simplistic (almost like a spoof of its 1993 counterpart), and the action lacked spark. The costumes were colorful and the characters were funny, but that's not enough to carry a movie. It's not a terrible rendition (I've been meaning to read the book for years but haven't yet, so this comment is based on what I know from the 1993 movie.), but it feels a bit like a modernized rerun of an earlier movie and not a story that got its source material from the book.

Since it stars Orlando Bloom among others, you almost get the sense (right or wrong) that the producers were hoping for a wild ride along the lines of Pirates of the Carribean, something that would grab the viewers like those movies did and create a franchise. Have you heard anything about last year's The Three Musketeers since it came out? Me neither. Obviously, if that was the plan, it failed, but I'm only speculating.

The music was reminiscent of the new Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr., which was fun, but again, it felt like it was copying and not being original. Perhaps the most original work of the film was the king's character, played by Freddie Fox, a more childish and ridiculous king than his counterpart in the 1993 version. I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me, particularly as we got to know the king a little better and saw that he did have at least one deep side: his love for his new queen.

In fact, vibrant characters, many relatively unknown, is what this movie has going for it. Athos (played by Matthew Macfayden, who played Mr. Darcy in the most recent Pride and Prejudice), Aramis, and Porthos are played well (if not with much depth of character), and D'Artagnon is young and played completely cocky, more so than I would have thought would work, but it did. The two-faced Milady de Winter, however, is more annoying than genius. She's played sexy, even when no one on screen is watching, which I found unnecessary. I must confess, I didn't recognize Orlando Bloom through the movie, though he plays a fairly big part, but I wasn't looking for him either. Many faces in the movie seemed familiar but weren't placed until the credits rolled.

It's rated PG-13 for "adventure action violence," according to (where, incidentally, I always look for ratings information), but there's a lot of cleavage and a scene with Milady where she acts like she's dancing on a stage rather than repelling down a wall.

Overall, it's an okay movie if you've nothing better to do. I'm sorry if you paid the money to see it in theaters, and don't hurry down to the movie store to rent this one next. But for a little entertainment and an excuse to eat a bowl of popcorn on a lazy day, it's not terrible. Almost three stars.


  1. That's kinda disappointing but unsurprising. I was interested in seeing it, but I wasn't sure if it'd just be style with no substance. I guess it was.

    1. It might hit different people different ways, I don't know. My expectations were pretty high from my love of the 1993 movie. It still has its fun moments, so if you have to see it, I don't think you'll be bored, at least.


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