Thanks to Hoyts Distribution we had the chance to see director Paul W.S. Anderson’s – ‘The Three Musketeers 3D’ before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
The Three Musketeers 3D tells the story of the young sword master D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) wanting to become a real Musketeer after being trained by his father his entire life. During his quest D’Artagnan meets the legendary Porthos (Ray Stevenson), Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) and Aramis (Luke Evans), all of them retired from their previous Musketeers’ duties, believing that there is nothing to fight for anymore. However, the ambitious Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) with the help of a double agent Milady (Milla Jovovich) are plotting something in order to unleash a war between France and the Duke of Buckingham ‘s (Orlando Bloom) British army so that the young King Louis XIII can lose his power and Cardinal Richelieu can overtake as the new ruler of France.
This movie, is perhaps one of the most unnecessary remakes in the recent years, with so many films made already based on this story. Director Paul W.S. Anderson takes the risk of trying to push this story to a brand new level, full of explosions, flying ships, acrobatics and of course 3D in an attempt to create a new saga similar to Pirates of The Caribbean, a saga which in this case fails to deliver in its first chapter, thanks to a terrible script and very unfunny jokes.
Anderson has with him talented actors such as Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, who was more like an extra in this film, far from being the evil conspirator in the story, which is a total waste for one of the best actors known to date. Then we have the director’s favourite, Milla Jovovich, who looks stunning and is amazing as usual, but her character is just a product of the directors invention and cannot be ridden of the stigma of her role in resident evil, pretty much doing the same thing – kicking some serious asses, using weapons and performing awesome stunts, stuff that you can easily predict after watching the first few scenes (we really would love to see her doing another Joan of arc’s style performance in another film).
On the other hand we have the Musketeers, the main 3 Porthos (Ray Stevenson), Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) and Aramis (Luke Evans) who did a fair job, and kept the essence of the characters, as much as the terrible script allowed them is all we can say. However, D’Artagnan is probably the most annoying character, as the actor tries so hard to be an arrogant smart-ass sword master that does very well with the ladies and etcetera, so much so that you actually wish he can be defeated and die midway during the film. Add to that are of course, those very cheesy and predictable romantic scenes he has, for example, with the queen’s maids.
Obviously, like in almost every Paul W.S. Anderson’s film the comedy has to be present but with characters such as the Musketeer`s assistant, the result is totally not funny. For another instance, the King is played out to be a young blonde, a kind of I-wanna-be-Russell Brand comedian that sinks in his attempt to be Brand in every way.
Finally, we are left with Orlando Bloom whose role is a bit weird, as you don`t know whether to take his character seriously or not (and again it’s not really his fault…more of the script’s) His costume as well as his character are bizzare and he only needs Dr. Evil’s laugh in Austin Powers to be a total cartoonish villain in the film. Speaking fairly from our personal opinions, we feel that what happens with Bloom, is what happens with the actual film – you don`t know if you are watching a parody, a comedy or a big adventure, pretty much is like when they tried to mix all this elements in a blender, adding some 3D glasses at the end to make it even more rentable. Furthermore, even the classic quote of “One for all and all for one!” is almost entirely absent from the film, and in the few moments when they do say it, they brush it up with a joke after.
But there are still good points about the movie such as the first few scenes where the Three Musketeers are introduced to the screen are quite fantastic, especially the one with Aramis, that made us wish and dream with an Assassins Creed movie (hopefully not directed by Anderson).
The costume design is also very interesting, being modern and classic at the same time, and the work of the locations and the general interior designs, are all very well done, so at least the art direction did a good job and paid off there.
The action scenes are pure entertainment as they help you to forget the script (while they are fighting), but sometimes the explosions and bullets can be a bit too much, no matter how much you enjoy the typical action stuff in a film like this. Even then, the almost imperceptible and unnecessary 3D effects seem to work only in few scenes.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s ‘The Three Musketeers 3D’ attempts to be one of the surprises of the year, and the first chapter of a new saga, and indeed, it is a fair film of pure entertainment if you like lots of actions and visual effects but in essence, it is an empty shell with not much substance. You might or might not enjoy it, we let you be your own critic.
‘The Three Musketeers 3D’ opens next October 20, 2011