Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Mads Mikkelsen and Christoph Waltz.
The trailers in the theatre didn’t really ‘wow’ most of us. In fact some of the theatres were showing crappy prints of the trailer, which didn’t really prepare me for the visual spectacle that is The Three Musketeers 3D. The laughs are a bit juvenile and the plot is basic but the grandeur of the French and turning the characters into caricatures of sorts makes this film good clean fun.
Alexandre Dumas’s novel has seen various adaptations over the decades, even one cartoon version I remember that had dogs playing the musketeers and a puppy playing D’Artagnan. Brit Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, AVP) directs and in doing so brings his somewhat characteristic penchant for creating an almost video game-like quality to his films. Art directed, colour co-ordinated, grand sets, vivid contrasts all make the movie a delight to watch. The 3D is skilfully used here, with immersive depth and clever points where ‘things-come-at-you’.
Since the story is pretty well known let’s skip that shall we. All right, briefly, it’s ‘All for one and one for all’. And of course there are bad guys. And some so-so fight scenes with sabres. No not light sabres. But Anderson has given a ‘Steampunk’ twist to this tale in that he’s combined Victorian inventions and use of steam with science fiction to create some nifty gadgets for the heroes and villains, like an ‘air ship’.
And Anderson hasn’t shied away from filling the French setting with American speaking actors. There’s even a British character who plays their Man Friday, Planchet (James Corden). Some of the funniest scenes come from the French King Louis (Freddie Fox) and his foppish behaviour. And more than the musketeers I warrant you’ll enjoy the scenes with Milady (Resident Evil’s Jovovich) and Cardinal Rishelieu’s (Waltz) chief of guards Rochefort (Mikkelsen) who do evil very well indeed.
The look of this interpretation is rich, the set pieces are opulent and awesome. Gold fixtures, deep reds, purples, blues, a chess board marbled floor, sprawling gardens adjoining the royal palace, it’s all marvelously breath-taking. That coupled with a distinct Indiana Jones type of adventure (complete with secret chambers and booby traps), make your journey through this relatively formula good v/s evil romp, magnifique!