Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Musketeers

Alexandre Dumas is rolling over in his grave for shame of being associated with this film. Very few aspects of the 19th century classic, "Les Trois Mousquetaires", hold true in this film. The introduction of D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), quickly becomes satirized for a modern viewing audience as he chases the Cardinal's guard. Through his cocky arrogance he is challenged to a duel by each of the three musketeers (Athos, Aramis and Porthos) who are then as a group attacked by the Cardinal's guards, the four unite and escape. A loosely based plot of recovering the Queens jewels ends any similarity to the classic.

The studio has built "Three Musketeers" with the expectation of making it a series and who better to guide this film than Paul W.S. Anderson who is really only known for making films into a series. This includes the four "Resident Evil" films (with a fifth being filmed) and two "Death Race" films (with a third in the works). The original writings of Dumas were published as a serial for the local newspapers and subsequent novels referred to as the D'Artagnan Romances. As such, turning the film into a trilogy is easily possible if the theater ticket sales support the concept.

The script was filled with cheesy one-liners; and the concepts employed in the film were nauseating much like the reference by Planchet (James Corden) to hating air travel. The film brought modern technology into the 19th century, most notably lasers, that were reminiscent of "Wild Wild West" and the most recent "Shirlocke Holmes" with their gadgetry used by the characters to complete their respective missions.

The Musketeers provide every cliche to their characters. Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) appears as a poor-mans Brendan Fraser providing the calculated arrogant leadership to the team, Porthos (Ray Stevenson) provides the muscle and comedic banter to the team similar to his role in "Thor", and Aramis (Luke Evans) delivers the acrobatic agility and calming Zen-like persona.

As recently seen in "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) and "Green Hornet" (2011), Christopher Waltz enjoys playing the villain. However, his performance as the power seeking Cardinal Richelieu borders on being cartoonish. Perhaps it was his requirement of babysitting the fancy pants King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox) who has been cuckolded by the charming and innocent Queen (Juno Temple). Regardless, the character was more reminiscent of the evil Boris from the "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" with the equivalent of his Natasha being played by Milla Jovovich. The other villain in the film is portrayed by Orlando Bloom who is trying to give his best overacting performance reminiscent of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and Johnny Depp.

This film isn't going to blow you away with special effects or 3D wizardry (seriously see it in 2D). Certain moments of the film reminded more of a board game being of Risk being brought to life. The film isn't as bad as I probably make it sound, so 2 Quacks is still respectable enough for this film. There are a lot of good films hitting the theaters, but if you cannot find anything better you will at the very least be entertained.

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