The Three Musketeers (2011)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time and again "classic" literature is re-tooled for the silver screen and re-made into film adaptations. Somehow, no matter what they may look like or the end result turn out as, we still love 'em. Most of the time, the adaptations turn out to be productions on a grand scale even if they do make us fall to the floor laughing at their sometimes absurd nature. Such is the case with this newest (totally awesome) re-imagining of the Dumas classic.

France is being led by a young inexperienced king who was thrust onto the throne after his father’s untimely death. With a marriage to a woman he loves but doesn’t know how to romance without tripping over his own tongue, King Louis XIII – and France is really being ruled by the diabolical Cardinal. Missions failing is not something the brave musketeers are accustomed to – as protectors to the king, they are not about to let their misjudgments jeopardize his safety. After a mission goes wrong following the betrayal of Athos’ lover and partner in crime, Milady De Winter (Milla Jovovich), the brave musketeers are more or less a ruined band. A year later, the young and ambitious farm boy D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has travelled a long distance to Paris to become one of these heroic men – the legend of the musketeer has not gone unnoticed by him, and he is not about to let their drinking and bribery, and supposed disgrace hamper his efforts. Through a series of events D’Artagnan insults a trio of men who, unknown to him are musketeers. In an attempt to save face, he challenges each to a duel only before he can fight any of them they come under attack by Cardinal’s men.

Athos (Matthew Macfayden), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans) are not thrilled with the idea of a young know-it-all tagging along with them but when the Queen becomes a pawn in the Cardinal’s schemes – and those of the double-agent Milady, they are willing to lay their lives on the line. After all, the cunning Milady has Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) in her sights and with the backing of the Cardinal they plan on taking down the Duke as well as the Queen of France.

Penned by well-known scripter Andrew Davies – who is renowned for brilliant BBC dramas, this is one movie that you will probably either love or hate. I for one absolutely loved it. Even at that, I will say, it is also one that I think will grow on me with time. Not being sure what to expect of it, another viewing of it will now not catch me off guard; the outline of everything (i.e., the humor, story, etc.) will be “expected.” The plotting will be very familiar to anyone who has a favorite version of this re-told story by Alexandre Dumas but yet this latest adaptation adds twists all its own.  

The Three Musketeers

It is important for anyone who thinks otherwise to know that this version of an iconic classic is not a serious historical piece of film work – and I loved that it didn’t take itself as such. Nothing is really “serious” about the movie but yet at the same time, its “stylish” poise is a wonderful piece of humor and intrigue. The tongue-in-cheek comical dialogue was witty (especially the hilarious banter of annoyance from the king when he is upstaged by Buckingham in fashion). The ending not only sets up the potential for a sequel (highly improbable all things considered), but also inspires a kind of “checkmate” moment in which the Cardinal congratulates the musketeers on a win – in the scene, it was almost as if the character was “likable” for a first.

After the three-plus variations of this story I’ve seen immortalized in film, the oh-so-evil cardinal was really not. (Weird, I know.) Acting is nothing terrible although most the actors either slip up in their accents or don't have one while the queen – for some reason, annoyed me (could be in part to her hairstyle, it was… atrocious); I can think of two actresses’ who played her with more spark and spunk, but then, fortunately, she is not on-screen much of the time. Naturally, the costuming is gorgeous as is all of the marbled palace halls and French scenery. The camera work catches some truly breathtaking moments and as a fellow reviewer stated, the final battle scene is just epic and… cool! The special effects are nothing to sneeze at.

Fans of Disney’s “pirates” series will be enthralled by this. It doesn’t have the strength of the first film in the franchise but its pacing may be more on par with some of the sequels (particularly the middle two). Many have likened this to that blockbuster series, and I can easily see why. There are flying ships and high-flying action sequences that most of the films in this line that have predeceased this one might not have ever considered trying. I know one thing: This movie is way more fun than it should be – and I am already anticipating a second viewing. If you want to see this story told with a bit more “edge” to it, then this will not be your thing, but if you want to have a good time, then this is the version to go with when in the mood for “one for all, and all for one!”

Related Post(s):
(Parental Review: Rated PG13 because of some violence. Characters are stabbed and cut [one battle scene takes place on a steep roof leading to a death]; another woman falls off a ship into water. Cannons are fired and men are shot all without much gore or blood shed. There is some revealing period costume. Characters drink themselves into oblivion on one or two occasions. A few crudities make it into the script, including a rare profanity.) 


  1. Glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for the link!

  2. Still on the fence about this one. Part of me enjoyed it, the other part of me thought it was a complete and utter waste of time. =D

  3. I would love to see this, as I'm a huge fan of the book, but I'm a little nervous. Hollywood has a way of murdering good stories...

    I loved "Pirates" so maybe I'll just go in with an open mind and try to enjoy it as a swashbuckler. =)

  4. Thanks for the review :-) I'm anxious to see it now!

  5. Ruth - me, too! It was SOOO much fun.

    Link - you're welcome; I am always glad to share that. =)

    Charity - even as much as I enjoyed this version, I think a 2nd viewing will be even better. It's something I am already anticipating. Whatever the case, I don't think I'd call it a waste of time. ;D

    AnnaKate - this version is definitely not a "serious" take on the classic. It has moments that are serious but basically, it is a fun comic swashbuckler - and very reminiscent of a "pirates-like" saga. In my opinion, it was really entertaining. =)

    Gwendolyn - enjoy if/when you see this; it was a lot of fun. =D

  6. Hmm, think I'll stick to the chocolate bars. ;)

    Your movie scrapbook sounds so neat! You should feature it on your blog sometime :) I'd love to see!


  7. I've been wanting to see this one! Thanks for the review, Rissi - it sounds like a fun movie.

    I've reserved a copy at the library...

  8. Memory - oh! Thanks! I may share some pictures sometime... that could be fun - and it'd, of course, match my "main" topic here. =D

    Your comment about this movie made me smile. =) Unless you "have" to have a serious take on this classic story, this is definitely too fun to miss, but I also realize that is just my opinion; this version is certainly not for everyone. =D

    Lauren - cool!! Enjoy this one - I certainly did. =) Will look forward to your thoughts... if you decide to share them. ;-D

  9. thanks for the review!

  10. My pleasure, Jas!

    Thank you for stopping by - I hope you do so again sometime. =)


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