"“At times it was quite elegant and charming, at others dense and clumsy…”"
I think the one question that lingers over the release of The Three Musketeers in 3D, is why? The story of the trio of French swordsmen is already a somewhat dreary one, and with one Hollywood rendition of it already (Stephen Herek’s 1993 interpretation), another just seems mostly pointless. And to validate the remake, it needs to be really good; but sadly that isn’t the case.
We follow the journey of D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), a young, enthused and self-assured boy, who alongside the three Musketeers, Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson), of whom he is desperate to adhere to, he must defeat a seductive double-agent M’Lady De Winter (Milla Jovovich), to save the French monarchy, avoid a war across Europe, and win the love of the lady in waiting to the throne, Constance (Gabriella Wilde).
Despite the all-star cast, also featuring the likes of Orlando Bloom as the Duke of Buckingham, and Christoph Waltz as the Cardinal, it’s a disappointing feature, and albeit a tad entertaining, it is mostly uninteresting and quite dreary.
The film’s principal concern was its lack of identity. It couldn’t decide if it was going to be a graceful and stylish feature, or be adventurous and jovial. At times it was quite elegant and charming, at others dense and clumsy, epitomised greatly in the ridiculous performance by James Corden, basically playing himself as the Musketeers butler Planchet.
This is also reflected in the use of language throughout the film. Sometimes we are treated to lines such as “I don’t want birds shitting on my head” (A Corden line, of course), whilst at other points its all ‘one must ask oneself whether one thinks that one should tell Her Majesty that one loves her,” etc. In that regard, it is also a highly inaccurate use of language given the context and setting of the film, but let’s not get into that.
I also felt that it’s another example of a film using 3D without reason. It just seems pointless, and if anything, actually hinders the film as it felt that director Paul W.S. Anderson was making it more extravagant than actually necessary, just because the resources were there to be exploited.
For a film set in Europe in the 17th century, with no monsters, or ghosts, or aliens, there is far too much CGI used. The film is set on the streets and canals of Venice and Paris, therefore making incessant use of 3D and CGI highly preventable.
I suppose the one thing the film can’t be criticised on is its aptitude for fun, and its light-hearted approach, almost letting the film off the hook in some cases, as it can’t be accused of taking itself too seriously.
However, that didn’t help proceedings a great deal, and the film, forgettable and undistinguished, has been left open to a sequel so we can enjoy more futile shenanigans from the devilish trio.
And to conclude, I actually feel that my main reason for being unable to really get into the film is that it’s not a story I have ever been fond of. I didn’t take to it as a child and therefore where others may perceive this film as a sort of nostalgia trip, I simply viewed upon it as just another tedious action film, and one that I’m afraid I can’t recommend.