The Musketeer opens up on a young D'Artagnan as he witnesses the unprovoked murder of his parents over unpaid taxes. Little D'Artagnan is a spunky boy, and he tries to fight back but for some reason, the merciless, heartless tax-collector-cum-killer lets the little boy live. This turns out to be a big mistake as D'Artagnan is raised by his old friend Planchet (Jean-Pierre Castaldi). Becoming the finest swordsman in France, D'Artagnan tries to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a King's Musketeer. Times are not good for these heroes though with their leader Treville (Michael Byrne) imprisoned and the evil Febre (Tim Roth) out for blood!
Anyways he meets up with Arthos, Porthos, and Aramis. The Three Musketeers were unrecognizable in the film, not the dashing heroes we're used to. They are portrayed as drunken, miserable, lazy jerks. Apparently D'Artagnan is the only one who still holds the ideals of the Musketeers. Along the way, D'Artagnan falls in love with a feisty chambermaid, Francesca, portrayed by Mena Suvari. (I had trouble accepting Mena Suvari as an eighteenth century housemaid, after seeing her in American Beauty and American Pie and here she makes a wooden and ornamental Francesca. The only saving grace about this movie was Tim Roth who makes a great "bad" guy.
We can all agree than Asian style martial arts and 17th century France, by nature, does not match. You can either choose to see this as a good thing or a bad thing. Somehow, it feels a little too over the top and artificial for a 17th century French epic. The sword fights weren't your usual prancing about, but intense and frantic; with the ladder fight scene a direct rip off from Jet Li's Once Upon A Time In China.