Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Three Musketeers (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
The Three Musketeers follows the adventures of Aramis, Athos and Porthos in an interpretation of Alexandre Dumas' famous novel of the same name.

After Aramis (Luke Evans), Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) recover secret plans for a war machine, they are betrayed by Milady D'Winter as she joins forces with the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom).

Meanwhile, D'Artagnan has finished his training and moves to Paris to seek the Musketeers, where he finds they have given up hope having found that they had no purpose in the more modern France.

A plan to dethrone the king, however, forces the Musketeers from their early retirement.
The Three Musketeers had one advantage when it was released in that no-one really expected it to be good. It did not have the hype of a major release or the magazine coverage of a long-awaited sequel. To cut things short, Alexandre Dumas' novel has never really transferred particularly well on the big screen.

The latest version of The Three Musketeers is no different. The storyline is not really that gripping and it relies heavily on the heavy CGI and action sequences to remove the attention from the occasionally annoying characters (King Louis especially so as the highly immature, fashion conscious leader of France). However despite all this, the film is a lot of fun.

With more than one airship (in this case a galleon that literally takes to the air below a giant balloon), The Three Musketeers is not a film that should be taken seriously and anyone that goes into the film thinking otherwise will be thoroughly disappointed.

The casting of one of Wales' funniest guys, James Cordon, as the faithful Planchett is a stroke of genius and the number of one-liners given to him are appropriate - not too over the top, but not under-utilised either. It is also good to see Orlando Bloom back in the role of background protagonist after a quiet period following the end of Pirates of the Carribbean. His accent and persona worked well as the Duke of Buckingham. Mads Mikkelsen reprised his Casino Royale-style villainous role as the captain of the guards, Rochefort.

Lacking in quality, but damn good fun.

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