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Monday, October 24, 2011


By: Rama

What did Rama think about THE THREE MUSKETEERS? Would he want to join the gang or not? Make to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

A mildly enjoyable mindless entertainment, that’s how I’d describe director Paul W.S. Anderson’s version of Dumas’ classic tale. It’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS on steroid.
Overwhelming bullet time, Bond-esque weaponry and gadgets, extravagant use of CG and those airships that look like blimps with firepower, THE THREE MUSKETEERS takes 19th century setting and mashes-it up with today’s generation’s addiction to cheap thrills. One for all and all for 3D..

The hot-headed young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) joins forces with three rogue Musketeers (Matthew MacFadyen, Luke Evans and Ray Stevenson) in this reboot of Alexandre Dumas’ story. They must stop the evil Richlieu (Christoph Waltz) and face off with Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and the treacherous Milady (Milla Jovovich). The action adventure is given a state of the art update in 3-D.

Welcome back to Orlando Bloom who’s been taking some time away from movies. His return as a villain is a treat because Bloom adds a bit of comic to his character’s ambitious, sinister, and merciless presence.
Milla Jovovich as the femme fatale Milady is slick, smooth, and sexy. Milla’s gives out that sense of daredevil and seduction all in one, you never know exactly where her loyalty lies.

I think it’s interesting the way this film presents its three musketeers.

Athos is the heartbroken downer, Porthos is a cocky brawler, and Aramis claims to be religious but he’s also somewhat of a playboy. In the real world, it’d be hard to imagine those three striking personalities work together as a team but this movie is not about how the three came to be, it’s about their finding a reason to fight again.

I don’t have any complaint about the casting choices. As a matter of fact when it was reported that Matthew McFadyen, Ray Stevenson, and Luke Evans were going to play the three musketeers, I couldn’t see anyone else better fit those roles, and they proved me right, at least from what I saw on the screen.

The only thing I’m not too sure about is Logan Lerman as young D’Artagnan. There’s a scene where he tries to charm a pretty girl and he looks like he’s channeling Tom Cruise for some reason.
That said, the fight scene of Rochefort vs d’Artagnan on top of a roof is deadly exciting. I wish the movie had more of that, I wish the movie had less airships and more swordfights, I feel like the movie wants so bad to be different from the other three musketeers adaptations that have graced cinema in the past, by bombarding us with all the explosives, machine gun, airships, so much so that the essence of The Three musketeers or what they’re all about gets pushed aside.

Long gone are the days when summer blockbuster is just designed as a stand alone movie, even this version has to set up a potential sequel, a possible franchise with a cliffhanger that suggests the dawn of a great war, unlike anything that France has ever encountered.
I wonder if fans of Dumas’ books would consider this whole thing to be nothing but a VFX bastardization. I remember watching a featurette where director Anderson and his cast members said that every generation deserves their own version of THE THREE MUSKETEERS, I’m just not sure presenting the story in this manner is a good way to do that, because today’s generation is already ignorant of classic tales as it is, so feeding them with this would probably even make things worse.

Before the screening, I was ready to find reasons to trash this movie but now I find that to be challenging because I have to admit that this movie has a lot of ingredients that would categorize it as this year’s decent summer blockbuster. There’s a workable story that revolves around women being the our heroes’ weakness. Athos is fooled by one, he’s turned into a disbeliever but when he sees young D’Artagnan facing a dilemma that has to do with his own woman, Athos understands that giving yourself to love, even if you don’t know how it would treat you in return, is a mistake worth making.

What is the cause that you’re fighting for? Is it love, is it France, is it integrity?
THE THREE MUSKETEERS is going to piss off a lot of history buff, due to all the exaggeration and inaccuracies. Because in the end, when it comes down to it, this movie is just Paul W.S. Anderson taking his technologies and VFX frenzy from Resident Evil franchise, Death Race reboot, and Pandorum and shove ‘em down Dumas’ tale’s throat. So yes, if you hope to enjoy this movie, you’re going to have to leave your brain in the car first, don’t bring it with you to the theater.

GRADE: 3 out of 5

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