Monday, March 26, 2012

The Three Musketeers

I don't have much to say about this movie, other than that I liked it. It was a lot of fun, had some really cool action sequences, assembled a great cast, and was never boring, but I can't in good conscience recommend since it was also pretty dumb and not likely to be enjoyed for people who aren't me.

This is about the millionth film retelling of Alexandre Dumas's beloved novel, and while it wasn't the most faithful adaptation, it wasn't the steampunk epic the trailer made it look like. There were some dirigibles and a few weapons that were anachronistic, but all in all it was still a straight period piece... except for when it wasn't, I guess. I've read a lot of reviews criticizing the steampunk elements, but my only real comment was that this film didn't go far enough in that direction. If you're going to do steampunk, do steampunk. I expected a lot less restraint from the same direction who brought us Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, and Alien Vs. Predator.

Did I mention that this was a Paul Anderson movie? If you know who he is, you've already made up your mind about whether you'll see this or skip it. If you don't know who he is, you probably won't like this, because his oeuvre isn't one that should be stumbled into. The man makes movies that are big, loud, and dumb, and he's not ashamed or embarrassed to embrace that fact, nor am I ashamed or embarrassed to admit that I... well... I can't say I love them, but I see them all and come away mostly entertained, but I'd be lying if I said they couldn't all be a little better. He makes the kind of movies I would want to make if I was a director, but I'd hope if I was a director I'd make them a little better than he does.

For one thing, he doesn't care much about crafting stories that are the least bit coherent, let alone clever, witty, or of any real depth. This film happens to be based upon one of the greatest novels ever written, so at least it has that to fall back on. As I said before, there have been countless adaptations of this novel, and because it is so good already, none of them are bad, even if few of them have truly been great. It's nearly impossible to film a version of this story with these characters and not have it be entertaining. This film has the same basic story from the novel, only with a lot more explosions and one liners.


Anderson somehow always manages to assemble fantastic casts, and this film is no exception. Orlando Bloom might be the most famous name on the poster, and he is a lot of fun as a scenery-chewing villain. Bloom was so much fun as the Duke of Buckingham he actually managed to steal most of his scenes from fellow villains Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu and Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort. But they were both a lot of fun too.

Our Three Musketeers were played by Ray Stevenson as Porthos, Matthew MacFayden as Athos, and Luke Evans as Aramis. Of the three, Stevenson was the only one I'd ever heard of, but the other two looked vaguely familiar. They were all great, but Stevenson was my favorite, since he played the same role he plays in everything, which is basically just a big tough guy who beats people up and tells jokes. Another actor I've never heard of played D'Artagnan, and he was also a lot of fun, but not so great that I feel like looking up his name on the IMDB. And Paul Anderson's wife Milla Jovovich plays de Winter. She's very lovely, and if she was my wife I'd put her in my movies too, even though very lovely is the highest praise her acting ever seems to get.

And that's really all I have to say about that. If any of this sounds like fun, that's because it is. But if any of this sounds dumb, that's because it is. But who says that dumb movies can't be fun? If you like the Three Musketeers and want to watch a very funny, very action-packed retelling of that classic story, check this one out. It's fun.

9 comments:

television lady said...

awesome. I'll see it, though probably next winter sometime when i get done with the current list. ANd your review is probably better than the film is . . .

Justin Garrett Blum said...

You know, I learned something today, because when you were talking about this being steampunk, I said to myself, "What the hell? Did they even have the steam engine back then?" So I looked up when this story takes place (first half of the 1600s) and when steam power first became truly practical (late 1600s, early 1700s), and yeah...that was earlier than I thought, but still too late for it to make any sense in this story.

Maybe that's why they didn't take the idea further, but really, maybe they shouldn't have taken it there at all.

Donald said...

Do you know what Steampunk is?

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Uh, yeah. "Steam" is right there in the word "steampunk". There's a reason most steampunk takes place in the 1800s, when steam power was dominant. I think the better question is do _you_ know what steampunk is?

Donald said...

I'm just saying that I think the streampunk genre is intentionally anachronistic.

Mugato said...

What an odd director for a three muskateers project. But I guess that's what makes it a bit different from every other version.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Well, of course it's intentionally anachronistic. ;) But it still kind of implies the beginning of the Industrial Age, which happens well after Three Musketeers. But anyway...

Donald said...

Here's all I'll say about this film: This has probably been the most intelligent, insightful conversation anyone has had about it. It's really dumb.

But it's cool.

capt.naps. said...

say what you will but DOA is the most accurate video game movie ever made.
(though I think he WS Anderson was just the producer)

its a game about hot babes beating each other up...and thats what the movie is