The Three Musketeers Reviews
"All for one and one for all" the four (yes, four) Musketeers chant as they raise their swords in union. "The Three Musketeers" (2011) is a remake of the classic and is worth watching at least once.
The first notable thing about this movie is the director's (Paul W.S. Anderson) indecisiveness on a plot (there are at least four of them). As it turns out, Anderson could not decide if he wanted to write a love story, a war story, or a rivalry story so he went with all three. You may think this is excessive, and you are right; however, Anderson masterfully wove the plot together to create a respectable movie.
In the movie, young D'Artagnon (Logan Lerman) sets off to Paris to the join the famous Musketeers, Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans). However, once there, he finds them broke and drunk because they had no cause to fight for. As the Four Musketeers search for a cause, the king's chief adviser, Richelieu (Christoph Waltz), along with the beautiful double agent Milady (expertly played by Millia Jovovich), plot to overthrow the incompetent, young King Louis (Freddie Fox) and gain control of France. All the while, England and France (both with the help of Milady, of course) are fighting over the blueprints for, as Richelieu aptly puts it, "an...airship?"
Due to the nature of the movie, the plot can get confusing at times because there are so many characters to keep track of. Yet, it is still a good movie because of these interwoven plots.
If this movie were a piece of toast, the music would be the jelly on top. The score was very suiting to its particular scene and the feel of the movie; however, it is repetitive.
For example, the camera zooms in on the courtyard of the Palace of Versailles numerous times in the movie. Every time this scene plays, the same sounding grand music plays. It is cool the first time; however, the music, and the scene itself for that matter, get repetitive the second or third time.
Now this is not to say the score was bad. It wasn't. It just needed more variety.
The major redeeming quality of this movie is the fighting (more specifically the weaponry). For such an old movie, the choreography was very good, yet the best aspect of the fighting was the humorously impractical weapons.
"How impractical?" you might ask. Umbrella of death impractical; the umbrella's spindles are the arms of five loaded crossbows. Needless to say if you were on the wrong end of this weapon, you will have a very bad day.
Or take the machine carronade on the front of the airship the Musketeers pirated. This weapon consisted of multiple small carronades facing every direction, and when it fired the entire ring of cannons spun. While cool and rather effective while firing, the impracticality came when reloading. The gunner had to reload each of twenty barrels individually, all while under heavy fire for (of course) the gun is very exposed.
Yet this impracticality is what makes "The Three Musketeers" such a fun movie. Yes, it has its flaws, but its successes are well worth the time and money spent watching this unique film.
The characters... the director gets the characters right and follows the story with all the character high points. The king is immature- but human- not a characters.
The swordplay and stuntwork is creative.
I felt the director had actually read the story unlike the disney efforts. And I think the director had watched the Michael York version. The french court felt the same. Opulant, crazy wealthy- (little bits like servants unrolling a red carpet ahead of the king while he's out for a stroll in the garden).
Rochefort, the Cardinal, were solid tho Rochefort was much more dishonorable.
Athos was suitably athoslike, Aramis was even better, but I adored this Portos. Proud, vain, immensely strong.
Planchett was an interesting note tho. He was treated right but rang false for the first half of the movie but over time he won me over. He was the same Planchett I'd seen in the York musketeers.
The only character I found different was Buckingham. But I simply adored his fashion battle with the King.
I still prefer the York 3 and 4 musketeers but I quite liked this one too.
Go in expecting the three musketeers plus steam punk and you'll be delighted.