The Three Musketeers
Out Now On-Demand
Swashbuckling adventure adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel starring Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), Matthew Macfadyen (Robin Hood), Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds).
Follows hot-headed young D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman, Percy Jackson) who is taken under the wing of France's legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers - Porthos (Ray Stevenson, Punisher: War Zone), Athos (Macfayden) and Aramis (Luke Evans, Clash of the Titans). The four are bought together to defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.
Dumas' 1844 novel of chivalry and camaraderie has long inspired filmmakers (there have been over 20 screen adaptations). This version from director Paul W.S. Anderson, shot in Germany, has a steampunk influence with airships, machine guns and flame throwers mixed with 18th century sword-play.
Action, Adaptation, Adventure, Romance
Rating: M contains medium level violence
This latest take on Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers desperately, and very expensively, wants to be fun. All the elements are there for it to be a jaunty romp of an adventure. But while the filmmakers clearly hoped that ritzy bombast would substitute for excitement, the film is charmless, obvious and predictable.
Much of the film’s lack of charm is do with main character D’Artagnan, played here by Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson). He starts off arrogant, annoying and smug and remains so throughout. The movie’s saving grace is the easy camaraderie Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen and Luke Evans bring to the titular heroes. With a humourous and likeable rapport, all three flesh out the individual identity of their respective musketeer while still adhering to the fabled group dynamic of the characters. They’re so good that you can’t help but think that a movie all about them would really be a winner. Here, they’re relegated to D’Artagnan’s support crew and the movie suffers for it.
There’s plenty of proficient action, though it cribs unashamedly (notably from The Matrix, 300 and, er, Entrapment), the acting’s appropriately hammy for this type of picture, and the newly added steampunk elements are pretty cool. But despite almighty levels of trying, The Three Musketeers just isn’t as much fun as it thinks it is or anywhere near as much fun as it wants to be. It’s hard to decide which disappoints more.
Total Film (UK)
Fails to capture the imagination
To put it bluntly, there's very little here which will appease lovers of the novel or the action/adventure genre.
Poor special effects only add to the mediocre performances from many of the leading roles. Whilst it is easy to watch without thinking, there wasn't one moment where I genuinely cared for young D'Artagnan.
I can see why this would have seemed a good idea in development but the plot and script is so flawed and clunky that it is impossible to love.
There may be an audience for the film with young boys under 12, but for everyone else it fails to satisfy. Orlando Bloom should have begged to stick with Pirates.