‘The Three Musketeers’ Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 12th, 2014 at 9:55 pm,

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

The Three Musketeers is a good remedy for anyone looking for mindless-but-harmless 3D action movie fun.

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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  1. I actually turn the channel when I see a commercial for this pile of crap. The slow motion fighting is COMPLETELY overdone and it seems like half the commercial is it. I am actually shocked it got a 2.5

    • I agree. The style just doesn’t fit the subject matter, IMO.

      • You shouldn’t judge everything by commercials. There’s mostly traditional swordfight choreography in this film.

    • Perhaps a stun gun could shock you further!

  2. Just another generic Hollywood movie…ugh

  3. Why do I have to watch and advertisement to watch a trailer? It’s just stupid. NO! I am not going to buy your product.

  4. I plan on seeing it this weekend. Was alway a fan of the Oliver Reed, Michael York version from the 70′s. While none have stacked up to this measure you go into the movie expecting to see too much of Mila and lots of unbelieveable action.

    Where were all these complaints from Pirates of the Csrribean not being realistic?

    • The difference with PotC and this is that PotC was genuinely entertaining where as this was forced to be. It’s just another stupid generic Hollywood movie…fancy costumes, lots of explosions, actors that are simply there for eye candy (do you really think that the three muskateers would be pretty boys? No, but how else would you get a female to go see this film?) bad script, bad acting, poor dialogue…I mean, I don’t even know why Hollywood bothers. This should have been a dark film, not some campy comedy action piece of crap

      • It wasnt bad actually.

  5. Also, I don’t understand the line “was it 40 or 400?” and then he goes “40, it was an off day” I haven’t seem the movie so maybe there’s a joke I’m missing out on, if not, that’s gotta be one of the worst lines of dialogue in the history of film, I mean why would you even bother putting it in the film???? He clearly said 40 you silly girl so why the f*** would ask if he meant 400…Jesus.

    • Ya don’t get it do ya…dufus!

    • I took it that she’s assuming he’s being modest.

    • The general reputation of the Musketeers is that they’re able to take on impossible odds (in the novels they play on this notoriety a lot). The queen is assuming that they’re being modest because to her knowledge their reputation would have them fighting higher odds. Athos (MacFayden) basically says there just weren’t that many guys around (it was an off-day; they’re all used to more enemies).

  6. This may come as a shock but this one is now my number 2 Musketeer movie; right behind the 1948 film with Gene Kelly. I thought it was great mindless fun, as the book sort of is, and the actors were just having a ball with the characters. The fight choreography and sword play was fantastic.

    It was loads of fun and worth the 3D price. Definitely worth the 2.5 stars but in a good way.

    • didn’t you know everything must be like eat, pray ,love; for critics to get on board. i remember hearing the dope from wgn news in chicago say, “if you like seeing big robots tearing up Chicago!” that was reference to transformers dark of the moon. critics..really, what talent is there to be had?

  7. I enjoyed it and so long as you don’t go in expecting INCEPTION then you probably will also enjoy it. Put it this way, if films like ID4 and GODZILLA or TRANSFORMERS were films you liked then you’ll be delightfully surprised and satisfied with 3 Musketeers.

  8. It has been already out in Germany for quite a while and I watched it then. It was at least 3/5, possibly 3.5/5…Its just old fashioned fun and I actualy remember that film after like a month!

  9. Even from the pictures and the poster I surmised this was a pretty brainless 3D-popcorn flick…maybe it’s good for family fun with the kids, but I’m quite certainly not gonna pick this up. Also, is it me or do the sets and costumes look too…bright? Everything’s such a solid, clean bright colour that it somehow strikes me as very Disney.

    Which is a shame because it’d be really nice to have another good Christoph Waltz movie to watch.

  10. I Really really enjoyed this movie in every way. Mindless Fun ! Very Entertaining.

  11. I watched it this past Tuesday with some friends. We didn’t expect much, but damn it was fun! I really enjoyed it. Lighten up people, this isn’t a serious movie, so why take it so. I also apprciate the old classic mindless fun which this brings out in spades. I would recommend it :)

  12. Great Movie,and Great Fun,just can recommend it if you like good action with steampubk elements !

    Cool Movie,hope they do a second !

    Review should be 4Stars !


  13. Mindless fun for mindless people. 
    I’ve been trying to read the novel length movie reviews posted on this site but wow they’re almost impossible to get through and harder still is to figure out if it’s a negative or positive review, they all seem to be passive reviews. If a movie is bad as this one clearly seems to be I wish you guys would just rip it to pieces.
    This director dosnt have an original bone in his body, I watched the five minute scene that was posted and it’s just a poor imitation of Guy Ritchie with a hint of G. Del Torro thrown in. It was pretty cringe inducing. 

    • So let me get this straight:

      You start off by insulting anyone who may like this film as being “Mindless,” then you complain that reading a full film review (which are typically between 600 – 1,000 words, btw) is too difficult. OK…

      Then you state that our attempts at SR to objectively analyze a film in all its pieces (script, acting, direction, etc…) is too “passive” and that we should basically say “It’s good” or “It sucks” – because, you know, that’s being “mindful?”

      Then you claim that Paul W.S. Anderson, who has carved out a definite niche for himself making mindless action flicks like Resident Evil, Death Race, AVP and Three Musketeers, is just a copy of Guy Ritchie and…Guillermo del Toro (whose name you got totally wrong). What’s the connection there – what, you saw Sherlock Holmes (a period adventure) and that’s the only movie you can compare this to? And del Toro? Huh?

      You really showed those “Mindless People” out there how to be smart, Marlboroliteman (an oxymornoic name if ever there was one). Kudos.


    • So only stupid people can enjoy this movie? Wow. Way to come across as an ass. Some people see these movies for the entertainment value. I have fun watching this type of movie and that certainly does not make me mindless. Like Kofi said, funny that you mention mindless people but then you’re whining about this review being TL;DR.

  14. Well said Kofi .
    Good review.
    I might see this .
    It is a pity that Doug Limans Three Musketeers film didnt quite get off the ground.

  15. D’Artagnan has always been the “pretty boy” of the group, so I don’t see that as much of a complaint. I enjoyed this film until the added on part after the 1st fade-to-black. Anderson’s ideas for a sequel take all the bad parts of the film and blow them up by 10. I didn’t care for this film’s version of Louis XIII either and Waltz’s version of Richelieu was actually kind of boring.
    I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  16. So I saw this movie earlier today,and I have to say that it really wasn’t all that good.Not terrible,but I think that if you would’ve given the material to a better director,it would’ve been an infinitely better movie.

    First let me say that one of the things that made me interested in seeing this movie in the first place was that it wasn’t just another retelling of the same ‘ol story.I was really looking forward to the whole steam punk elements of The Three Musketeers.Unfortunately,I feel that Mr. Milla Jovovich can’t tell a clean story,but in all fairness,that could all be on the screenwriter(s).

    Character motivations in this movie were anywhere from ok,to very weak at times,to just plain stupid,character development could have used some more work (Orlando Bloom was borderline pointless,as were a few others),and I just wish that Anderson would have taken the material and made it more serious,instead of whimsical.Seemed to be too much of a Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes rip off in that respect,but even more so,and not done very well.

    I personally wouldn’t go 2 1/2 stars on this movie.I don’t think that it’s a 2 star movie,but I don’t think that it’s a 1 1/2 either.I guess it’s in between.

  17. What is WITH people raggin’ on Screenrant?? The article rocked, Kofi was spot on (particularly in his reply to you “Marlboroliteman”, a name which, I have to agree, is incredibly stupid…), and Screenrant is generally awesome with everything it does. (Especially the podcasts, REALLY diggin’ those!)

    To everyone beefing with Screenrant and its writers, I offer a very simple solution: Go find a blog that agrees with you or start your own. I’m pretty sure they don’t care which. God knows I’m not trying to brown nose or anything (if you knew me, you’d know how true that statement is), but it irritates the HELL outta me when people fire shots at somebody in their own house. If you didn’t like the movie, fine, just say that, but quit poopin’ in other people’s backyard. GOD. I’m done…

    p.s. I’m only going here because I’ve noticed recently a few attacks aimed directly at Screenrant and it’s writers instead of the MOVIES WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE COMMENTING ABOUT.

  18. Saying I did not get G-u-i-l-l-e-r-m-o Del Toro’s name right because I spelled it G. Del Toro is like me saying you got Paul W.S. Anderson’s name wrong because you didn’t spell it Paul William Scott Anderson…it’s ridiculous. 
    As for your novelization type reviews yea in the end most people who read reviews want to know if the movie is worth seeing via YOUR (the reviewer’s) opinion. Not well if you like that kind of stuff you might like this. 
    Did you like the movie or not? I couldn’t tell, seems like you did but who knows. Other critics have no problem voicing their opinion.
    And saying I’ve insulted people who like this movie because i wrote a little joke tag line is like me saying you insulted the filmakers by saying “mindless-but-harmless 3D action movie” So using your logic your saying the filmmakers are mindless? Wow. 

  19. Just ban people who place stupid comments, we won’t serve their kind here.

    • Ryan,

      From your keyboard to my ears.


      • Huh oh … I’m in trouble.

  20. I don’t feel I attacked Screenrant or it’s writers. I just commented on the length of the two reviews I read in regards to the movie’s paper thin plots and that their opinion of those movies were ambiguous.
    And Al do you really think I care if you think my SCREEN name is stupid. Saying negative things is just a negative reflection of your character. Marlboroliteman is a great name we all know that. Come on Al.

  21. FWIW, I LOVE reading a long, juicy, detailed movie review. If all a reviewer has to say is, “This movie is great!”, or “This movie stinks”, I really have little interest in reading his comments; or need to read it. After all, taste is a completely subjective matter – I need to know WHY he/she liked, disliked, recommends or doesn’t a particular flick. The element a particular reviewer despises in a particular movie might be the very thing I dig in a cinematic experience. Keep up the good work, Kofi and Co.

  22. Kofi, another fine review. Please continue as you have. While I don’t always agree with your reviews (I see eye to eye with you maybe 70% of the time) I can always get a good feel for whether I will or will not enjoy the film from a Screerant review.

    I know because this is a Paul Anderson/Mila Jovovich film that the story will be almost nonexistent and the only reason to go is action set-piece fun. That they do well and don’t apparently use what you diplomatically call “pop-out” 3D is a major bonus mark for me. I hate it when a director has to wag his junk in the audience’s face.

    As for calling each other names, yes this is a forum, yes, the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory is in full force, but for the love of can’t we discuss the movies? What, oh nebulous other, makes your life so much better for insulting someone you cannot see or otherwise interact with?

  23. Everybody take a breather, getting a little hot around here. But I must admit Milla J. is getting played out on the slow mo martial arts in every film she does.

  24. I saw the movie with my brain off. Glad I did because I enjoyed this A LOT more than I did most of Anderson’s previous work. The RE series died on #3 for me.

    The story points are short, but they serve the action well. That’s what I went for and that’s what I got. One happy customer here. BTW, for the “hot” commenters above, I like a King’s Speech as much as the next Oscar voter-type person. However, there are a lot of different meats in them culinary theaters and I like what was served here.


  25. I thought this movie was poopy cock.

  26. 2.5 based on his review seems right. I mean it sounds like a middle ground movie.

    Not great super fantastic but entertainment that can be enjoyed if you like that type of movie or if you want a break leaving your brain at the door.

    It is up to us the viewer if we want to see it teetering the 2.5 to the left or right.

    We were supposed to see it this weekend but my wife and son wanted runs through the trolls.

  27. Some people go to films like this to tune out and have fun. I know I do. As a meat eating, Saiga 12 wanting, MMA loving, Floyd Mayweather hating, red blooded American, I don’t want to see anything heavy, slow or not entertaining. I read books for that… and the days I’m made to watch “The Lifetime” network.

    Things that go boom or splat and chicks with swords is where I’m at for the weekend and this looks like great fun.

  28. Watched this over the weekend, not a bad movie. The one problem I has with it was Mila and I love her in everything else she does. They needed to give her times to the musketeers.

  29. I want to see it really badly, im a huge fan of Logan Lerman and Orlando Bloom, but someone told me it was really bad, and i dont want to see it if it’s not going to be good. Should i?

    • Unless you can get in for free don’t waste your money. Wait for it to hit Redbox or find it online somewhere. I got to watch it for free and I still almost got up and walked out because it was that bad. It had its moments but the terrible acting and the music outweighed the good in it. During the parts I didn’t care much for I was texting people and didn’t feel bad I wasn’t paying attention to the movie. There were only a few other people in there so yeah I could get away with texting without annoying anyone. Don’t waste your money dude.

      • Although the shot of Mila bending over in a skimpy little outfit was quite nice come to think of it lol