In the excitement of recreating popular tales of old comes yet another take on Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel , The Three Musketeers. There have been over 21 film versions to date, the first screened as early as 1903, yet none of them feel as misplaced as the latest offering from director Paul W.S. Anderson. The Musketeers have sadly evolved into teen-pop friendly heroes at the foreground of Kill Bill-style action. Could these still be the same characters who uttered the famous words, “All for one, one for all?” Perhaps another famous saying would be more appropriate here, “If it ain’t broke…”
PLOT: The hot-headed young D’Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.
DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson
CAST: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen and Ray Stevenson
GENRE: Action, adventure
AGE RESTRICTION: PG 10 (Mild Violence)
I’m not sure that Alexandre Duma’s had this form of action adventure in mind when creating The Three Musketeers. It’s a story we are all too familiar with and I suppose warrants some form of creative remodeling or upgrade. That being said, The Three Musketeers has overshot and landed in a space that will make most fans feel terribly confused and uncomfortable.
The root of the story remains, and is barely changed. Brakenjan… I mean D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), an arrogant swordsman, sets off from his village to discover his destiny, picking a fight with just about everyone along the way. He soon meets three “retired” Musketeers – Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson). When the French throne comes under threat the four unite and set off to defeat the villainous M’lady (Milla Jovovich) and her employer, Buckingham (Orlando Bloom).
Anderson (Aliens vs. Predator, Resident Evil and Event Horizon) borrows a page out of Pirates of the Caribbean and manages to Disneyfy The Three Musketeers. This adventure is no longer about honour or romance as one would expect, but rather about big budget explosions, slow-motion sword fight sequences and fast paced action.
The distinct differences between this version and the previous films comes with the introduction of giant airships designed by Leonardo Da Vinci… umm? One only has to think back to The Man with the Iron Mask to know that Anderson has gotten it completely wrong here.
Even after all the changes it remains fatally unoriginal. The eccentric characterisation will sadly paralyze the careers of everyone involved here.
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