Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers – 110 min - PG13

Take a story that has been done a few times, and add in a new mix of pre steam punk and you have the new Three Musketeers movie. The mix of archaic futuristic technology (I think I made up a term there) and the very stylized fight scenes make this the visual extravaganza that you expect. I was mildly entertained by the CGI shininess but overall this movie left me with a Wild Wild West feeling and that’s not a complement. I wonder what Mr. Dumas would have thought about the result of his work. Could he sue for defamation of character? As much as this story has been redone, just being the eye candy explosion is not enough to make this story worth wile. Other people have done much better with this same story. Red light is the best their cutting wits can muster.

I am sure that everyone is familiar with the story by now. D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), a young boy with some skill with a blade goes to Paris to join the Musketeers. He runs into Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans) and challenges each to a duel. He finds out that he has challenged the famous three Musketeers and is now in a tight spot. Luckily the Cardinal’s (Christoph Waltz) men come and arrest all of them. They join forces and take on the guards and become fast friends. The cast did a good job with what they had to work with and Walz did a great job as the bad guy again.

The main story line is the same but the sub plots are quite different and varied: they uncover a plot by the cardinal to split up the royals; they get revenge on a person from their past; start a war with England. None of these are very interesting and are nothing more than an excuse to use more CGI effects.

Paul W.S. Anderson was the director for this and it is one more in his resume of eye candy blockbuster films. It seems like he feels that a story is that wee little thing that you deliver gratuitous visual effects on. It’s a shame because he does have a good eye for the large effects. He needs to join forces with someone who can tell a good story. Andrew Davies has plenty of writing credits under his name but his touch seems to be absent from this film. Alex Litvak has only two works that I can find so his experience at writing still needs to be explored. I am hoping this is not a representation of his future potential.

Spoiler Warrning!!! Only The Musketeers are welcome here. Click on these words to reveal the spoilers.

It was fun watching some of the theoretical machines of Leonardo Da Vinci. I am a Sci Fi fan so suspension of disbelief is one of my strong suits. It was hard for me really get into the tech aspects of the weapons and air ships. It was fun but only for a bit and not enough to really base a movie on.

The almost super powers of the musketeers were hard for me to enjoy. It seems less like someone who is very skilled with fighting skills and blades and ore like they had superhuman powers. It was almost like a super spy movie than a swashbuckler.

One person who I thought could have done better was Orlando Bloom. I think I did not like him because of his character more than the acting. It was a flat performance -- almost like he was trying to be overly flamboyant. He can do better than this.

What movie would you like to see remade with some eye candy effects?

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