The Three Musketeers (2011)

The son of a Musketeer, d’Artagnan is eager to follow in his father’s footsteps. Arriving in Paris with his father’s sword and the familial horse, he immediately attracts the attention of the last remaining Musketeers – Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans) – by inadvertently challenging each of them to a duel. Interrupted by the Cardinal’s (Christopher Waltz) guards, d’Artagnan and the Musketeers fight their way out of trouble, resulting in them being brought before King Louis XIII (Freddy Fox) to be punished. Spared and instead gifted with new uniforms, much to the Cardinal’s dismay, the King asks d’Artagnan for dating advice, having been lead to fear that the queen (Juno Temple) might be having an affair with the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). Sensing the work of old nemesis Milady (Milla Jovovich), the Musketeers set off for Britain in order to foil the Cardinal’s plot to set up Queen Anne and initiate war with Great Britain.

When I say that I enjoyed Paul WS Anderson’s The Three Musketeers, it is with the same unthinking abandon with which I declare my enjoyment of the bucket of Coke and overpriced packet of Peanut M&Ms with which I watched it. I enjoyed it as a consumer rather than as a connoisseur: as a big, silly, disposable summer blockbuster, one that was at the very least narrative-shaped, passingly competent and that didn’t happen to star any of the ever-growing list of actors I can’t help but hate on sight (well, except for James Corden). I am also gleefully unfamiliar with Alexandre Dumas’ French classic, saving me from the truly harrowing sense that I am watching a true work of art be sullied by a man who couldn’t even make a good Resident Evil movie.

It’s terrible. Of course it’s terrible. The Three Musketeers paints a France that is jarringly devoid of French people, in which history is treated with the same lack of respect as the source novel, and in which Logan Lerman receives top billing. It is a film that stars Percy Jackson, Legolas and the third incarnation of Marvel’s The Punisher; a film that ill-advisedly gives Milla Jovovich more to do than try to out-act zombies; and that features an airship battle in which it takes the combatants TEN WHOLE MINUTES to aim for the giant gas-filled balloon holding the enemy in the air. Yes, you heard that right: airships!

Upon witnessing two boats as they become skewered atop the Notre Dame Cathedral, as our fancy-dressed heroes fight it out while sporting a series of ever more ridiculous wigs, the sheer preposterous of it all is absolutely astonishing, the steampunk element steamrolling over what was once – or so I have been told – one of the great literary romances. From an ignorant cinemagoer’s point of view, however, it is just really, really silly. The plot is contrived, nonsensical and overburdened with would-be antagonists; by film’s end it is almost impossible to comprehend what went before aside from the fact that it hung awkwardly upon one man’s rudeness towards a horse, and that it may or may not have involved actors.

But, however appalling it might have been (think Wild Wild West with worse moustaches), I didn’t hate it. There was no forced angst, no transforming robots and no sign whatsoever that the editor had ever worked for MTV. Yes it’s derivative, yes it’s daft, yes Milla Jovovich can’t sustain a believable smile – let alone an entire facial expression – but, and this is even less common and more important than you might imagine, it’s also harmless fun. There’s even a bit where James Corden gets shat on by a bird. Twice. Priceless.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to The Three Musketeers (2011)

  1. Pingback: October 2011 – Relax, I interviewed a pilot once! « popcornaddict

  2. Pingback: Fails of the Year – 2011 « popcornaddict

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