Other than some fairly impressive computer-generated visual effects, “The Three Musketeers” offers nothing new to a story that has already been told a few too many times in cinema.
Of course, this can be overlooked because Hollywood has a history of recycling and reintroducing old material to new generations. However, something that is unforgivable is the watering down of the said material’s basic message of unity in favor of those aforementioned visual effects.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson’s movie is the latest in a long line of attempts to bring author Alexandre Dumas’s classic 1844 serialized novel to the big screen. Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen and Luke Evans play Porthos, Athos and Aramis (respectively) – a trio of elite warriors who serve the king of France.
After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the king, the Musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero – D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) – and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot that not only threatens the Crown but the future of Europe itself.
“The Three Musketeers” also stars Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen – all of whom play villains – as well as Freddie Fox and Juno Temple as the king and queen with Gabriella Wilde (who very well might be the most beautiful woman in the world) serving as D’Artagnan’s love interest.
The actors all give somewhat decent performances and their names alone may very well be enough to draw viewers to the theater. However, in the absence of something unique that makes this story worth re-telling, said viewers are sure to be disappointed as “The Three Musketeers” essentially follows the same old story to a T.
Of course, one thing that does set Anderson’s version apart from the rest is an air-ship – which is exactly what it sounds like… a boat that flies (or at least floats) across the sky. When a second – larger – air-ship shows up during the film’s climax, “The Three Musketeers” undoubtedly becomes a little more intriguing (albeit in a “Pirates of the Caribbean” knock-off kind of way).
However, slick as they may be, visual effects are simply no substitute for spirit – which is precisely what “The Three Musketeers” lacks most. Screenwriters Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies toss every bit of the movie’s heart out of the window (or, more appropriately, off the side of the air-ship), leaving Anderson’s project emotionally empty.
“The Three Musketeers” (PG-13 – 110 minutes) is now playing at movie theaters throughout the Valley. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.
This movie, which was not made available for review in advance of its release, was screened courtesy of UltraStar Cinemas – exclusive home of Pure Digital Cinema. Visit them in the Valley at UltraLuxe Scottsdale Pavilions, 9090 E. Indian Bend Road, or UltraStar Surprise Pointe 14, 13649 N. Litchfield Road.