Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: The Three Musketeers (2011)

The thing that always bothered me most about The Three Musketeers is that the plot always involved D’Artagnian – thus rendering the trio a quartet.  Not a particularly important point, but I wanted to get that off my chest.  But I digress.  For Hollywood, the Three Musketeers is like that ex-girlfriend you always go back to when your current paramour tells you to hit the bricks.  Every time the creative powers that be run out of ideas, someone in the industry goes back to The Three Musketeers.  How else can you explain the following?

-       -  Charlie Sheen, Keifer SutherlandChris O’Donnell and Oliver Platt (aka Tiger Blood, Jack Bauer, Robin, and some other dude) starring in a Disney-fied The Three Musketeers in 1993.
-       -  Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, and Gabriel Byrne portraying the mid-life crises version of the quartet in The Man in the Iron Mask.
-      -   Cheech Marin, Alison Doody, Thomas Gottschalk, and David Hasselhoff portraying the sword-wielding quartet’s future descendants in The Ring of the Musketeers (I kid you not).

Given this lackluster cinematic past, I really expected to loathe the latest incarnation.  And in all honesty, director Paul W.S. Anderson gave me plenty not to like (as he usually does) about this piece of fluff.  The plot was thin, unimaginative, and full of holes, and the cast lacked the star power to make up for this creative void - unless you consider the kid (Logan Lerman) from Percy Jackson & the Olympians a star, which no one - outside of his parents - does.  There really is no nice way to put this; the kid CANNOT act.

With all that being said, there are some redeeming qualities to the movie and I think it stems from the fact that it plays like a throwback to the kind of lighthearted action movie that never makes it onto screen anymore.  Good is good; evil is evil; and when good is not out fighting evil, camaraderie and a great time is shared by all.  What makes this engine go is the cast sans Lerman.  Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, and Ray Stevenson are not exactly household names, but they are strong character actors that make for entertaining musketeers.  They share a chemistry that makes you believe they’ve embarked on countless adventures together.  Likewise, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, and Milla Jovovich are incredibly easy to despise as the heavies in the film.  

However at the end of the day, this is simply not a good movie.  It’s clearly a case of the parts much greater than the sum.  I am not going to cast this movie as a complete write-off though as there’s always a place for lighthearted action romps that mindlessly entertainment.  Save this one for a day when you can no longer expend the energy to think or have a paucity of brain cells to spare.  And if you find that you do utterly loathe this movie, fear not.  Sooner or later, another studio exec will decide that it is time to revisit this lore.

Standout Performance: James Corden as Planchet was a nice touch of comic relief that almost makes you forget the cinematic disaster that is Logan Lerman.


  1. I will watch this, now, just so I can see the chemistry between the three Musketeers.