‘The Three Musketeers’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 4th, 2014 at 10:00 am,

The Three Musketeers 2011 starring Mila Jovovich Review The Three Musketeers Review

Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews The Three Musketeers 

It seems that the tale of The Three Musketeers must be re-told on film at least once every generation. This 2011 re-imaging of Alexandre Dumas’ legendary story comes our way in an action-stuffed 3D package, courtesy of Resident Evil director, Paul W.S. Anderson.

Those who know of Anderson’s style of filmmaking already know what to expect from this film; for those unfamiliar, here’s a quick description: over-the-top action, weak scripts, and a sense that the cast of actors have their tongues firmly planted against their cheeks. Three Musketeers proudly continues this tradition.

This modern version tweaks Dumas’ tale of honor, espionage and sword-duels aplenty into a 3D spectacle featuring airships, Mission: Impossible-style capers (complete with martial arts acrobatics), and Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) transformed from a conniving spy into a conniving spy doing Kung Fu in a corset.

You can probably decide from that description above if this movie is for you or not. But I digress.

If you’ve never read the Musketeers story, here’s a quick rundown: brash young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) leaves his home in the French countryside in order to be a King’s Musketeer like his father. On the road to Paris, D’Artagnan just-so-happens to run afoul of three disgraced Musketeers – Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) – as well as Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), the Cardinal’s captain of the guard. Talk about bad luck. D’Artagnan challenges each Musketeer to a duel, and when the four men meet up to fight, they form a quick camaraderie over their shared disdain for Rochefort, and put their differences aside to slice his men to ribbons.

Milla Jovovich in The Three Musketeers 2011 The Three Musketeers Review

Milla Jovovich in The Three Musketeers

Meanwhile, Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) schemes with his super-spy henchwoman Milady (Jovovich) to steal jewels from the young Queen Anne (Juno Temple). The plan is to use the jewels to frame her as having an affair with young King Louis XIII’s rival, the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). If Louis should believe the Queen is unfaithful, he would have no choice but to go to war with England and appoint the Cardinal – a man of strength and experience – to lead France. The Musketeers of course learn of this plot, and must get the Queen’s jewels back on her neck before she is supposed to present them to the king at a royal ball.

Did I mention there are airships involved?

This “updated” adaptation of Dumas’ work is pretty flimsy, but the actors playing the characters seem to know this, and rise to the challenge of making it all light and fun. They accomplish this by throwing themselves into their roles with a shoulder shrug and a sense of hammy abandon. Stevenson, Bloom, and Lerman all play their characters over the top (Evans is good in the straight-man slot), and thankfully the script is mostly a string of action sequences punctuated by scenes of the characters trading quick one-liners and sarcastic jokes. Freddie Fox provides visual gags via the flamboyant (and ridiculous) costumes worn by the silly King Louis, and you almost feel pitty for James Corden as the Musketeers’ mistreated (downright abused) squire, Planchet.

Jovovich looks like she’s having a ball working with her hubby (Anderson), and once again puts on her Resident Evil action persona to get down and dirty with the boys. Christoph Waltz, on the other hand, once again plays a weird and offbeat villain, as he has done famously in Inglourious Basterds and not-so-famously in Green Hornet.  The only two actors who seem to take things seriously are Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort and Mattehew Macfadyen as Athos. Macfadyen is handed the only dramatic weight in the film (Athos is in a state of melancholy since Milady broke his heart), and the actor has the skill to carry it. Mikkelsen is playing the sort of badass warrior he did in Valhalla - the type you wouldn’t want to mess with, instead of wanting to giggle at.

3D effects in The Three Musketeers 2011 The Three Musketeers Review

One of the gorgeous 3D set pieces in 'The Three Musketeers'

Anderson has been a big proponent of 3D since James Cameron’s Avatar came along, and here uses the effect in a much smarter, more effective way than he did in the much-hyped Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D. Instead of “pop-out” gimmicks, Three Musketeers uses the draw-you-in immersive 3D effect that Cameron employed so well in Avatar. Granted, shots of old European architecture and landscapes aren’t exactly a thrilling use of 3D, but many of the film’s set pieces are truly spectacular and the 3D helps to accent all the gorgeous details in every shot.

In terms of action scenes: sword fights and fancy acrobatics aren’t any more exciting when filmed in 3D, but things are bound to go over-the-top in an Anderson film, and that point in Three Musketeers comes when the “airship” battles start to ensue during the movie’s climax. You have to give 3D ticket buyers some kind of bang for their buck, and when dealing with a story set in the 17th century, Da Vinci-designed airships are about as much as you can get away with, I guess… All in all, this 3D film is more than a cheap gimmick, but is far from mind-blowing.

The Three Musketeers is a good remedy for anyone looking for mindless-but-harmless 3D action movie fun. Whether or not there’s an audience looking for mindless-but-harmless 3D action movie fun in a period setting is another question altogether…

Take a look at the Three Musketeers trailer below:

The Three Musketeers is now playing in 3D and 2D theaters.

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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51 Comments

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  1. I would agree with the 2.5 (maybe a 3). I had a free ticket, and had a choice of either this movie or PA3; I chose to see this movie for free and I made a good choice. It wasn’t bad but it could have been a lot better.

    • However there is a lot of flipping in the air in this movie as well as 17th swashbuckling kung fu. It looks like The Matrix and Pirates Of The Caribbean.

  2. I saw the 2D version (if it makes a difference) and I couldn’t believe how awful the script was. It’s like it was written by a 12 year-old (although that might insult some 12 year-olds).

    But maybe I’m just getting too old for these kinds of movies. The positive I will say is that I wasn’t as bored as some other movies, but there was a lot of eye rolling.

  3. To be honest 99% of the reason I want to see this is for Christoph Waltz.

  4. ok i just saw the movie and loved it,it was fun and great action scenes all in all id give it 4 stars and really this movie was very entertaining and really people how can you judge someones career …seriously a movie was made to entertain you am i right …you go to a movie to have fun and enjoy yourself and step out of reality and step into a world where a story is being told and anything is basically possible in that story and really i say all actors,directors ect ect ect did an excellent job. if you dont like the way the story and acting and so forth of the movie is i dare you to make your own movie and lets see what kind of reviews your get…im sure you wont even get half a star…making movies is not easy nor cheap,and for those who say Hollywood is making same movies no original ideas and so on then why dont you write an original screen play and give hollywood a great idea if not that i suggest keeping your mouth shut, its alot harder then what you think is easy…not everyone has the same idea of what is humor…whats funny to one person is clearly not funny to someone else so lighten up and just enjoy the movie and stop trying to analyze and pull apart the movie and just enjoy a good fun feel good action movie…if you wanna analyze something or study go to school not a movie, a movie was made to entertain that is all …not made to be realistic.. to much pain ,suffering, and death in reality …lighten up …and enjoy the story being told….

  5. I don’t know why people keep hating on W. S. Anderson. The guy may not be a genius but some people still like his movies. I think he should be given some slack.

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