27/10/2011

AT THE CINEMA - THE THREE MUSKETEERS

"There are things in this world worth fighting and dying for. We're warriors ..." 





The Three Musketeers and their motto are part of our childhood memories : "All for one and one for all!"  Like many other kids of my generation I read, saw and enjoyed Dumas's adventure tales of bravery, loyalty, idealism and vengeance. Athos, Portos, Aramis and D'Artagnan were exotic names but they have become unforgettable. Now they 've been turned into warriors.
This new movie version is meant to introduce the old legendary characters to the new, third millenium techno-spoilt audiences. Hence, how could four  skilled musketeers just armed with their swords appeal to the young watchers? The answer is  3D, CGI,  loads of special effects, swordfights and duels with a 21st century flavour recalling their favourite videogames or Japanese cartoons.

The three musketeers, the king’s elite guards, are introduced to us as spies and assassins on a mission in Venice, and young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) as a pretty wild country chap longing to join up with them in order to follow his father's example. 
Matthew Macfadyen (Athos), Ray Stevenson 
(Porthos) and Luke Evans (Aramis) are solid, reliable actors, but  they couldn't save the dismally obvious - even silly -  dialogue in the script.


Young king Louis XIII  (Freddie Fox) is on the throne of France, but Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) is plotting to start a war with England so that he can take over the running of the country, with only the musketeers able to foil his scheme.

In order to magnify the heroes' skills and talents,  one baddie is not enough so, as well as Richelieu, there’s Mila Jovovich as M’lady, here turned into something like ...a super-assassin,  a ninja fighter able even to fly; Orlando Bloom is scheming Buckingham and Mads Mikkelsen  is  the wicked leader of the Cardinal's guards, Rochefort.



This film is visually powerful but weak in all other respects . I went to see it , curious to discover  the new Musketeers in action but ... no thanks,  my memories are much more entertaining. What I especially didn't like was the exaggerations and the anachronisms. Everything sounds exaggerated, especially  the choice of the effects. Too many, too artificial. A battle on  sky ships?!?  Milady a ninja fighter able to fly?!?

I hope at least kids will find what they  like in this impressive 3D video-game-like adventure and will even appreciate the feeble story-line reduced to very little. Not that in Dumas's novel much more happened,  but they've left a very tiny role to events and words here. Maybe they new audience will enjoy the teenage romances,  between the king and the queen and  between  D'Artagnan and Constance.

Before a period movie,  I'm usually  more favourably disposed and indulgent. I try to focus on the costumes and the beautiful locations if I can't find anything else. I have reacted in a more posititve manner to previous  attempts to modernization of classic heroes on other occasions. For instance, when I saw the new Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) at the cinema or on TV (Benedict Cumberbatch) . I really wanted to like this movie too but ...Yes, I know. I may be  too old to appreciate 3D and special effects. But I'm sure that's not the problem.
What about you? Did you see and enjoy this new version of The Musketeers? What did you like? What didn't you like?





Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Starring: Mila Jovovich, Christoph Waltz, Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom

4 comments:

lunarossa said...

I've been trying to leave a comment for ages...The only bits I like in this film as Matthew Macfadyen and the song over the credits by Take That...Ciao. A.x

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@lunarossa
I'm so sorry you are still having troubles while leaving your comments but ... are you still using Explorer, A.?
I can agree with you on the two bits, mildly though. I'm not a huge fan of MMF or Take That, but I like them.
Thanks for insisting and leaving your comment.
Have a great Friday. Hugs. MG

Prue Batten said...

I wanted this to be good... I wanted to see it... the costumes and cast seemed a match made in heaven but it has reviewed so badly here in Australia that I shall wait to hire it on DVD. Let's hope for better things from Anonymous!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Prue Batten
Just like you, Prue, I so wanted this to be good! But I was really disappointed. Beautiful costumes or locations didn't distract me enough :-/
Anonymous will be out on November 18th here in Italy. Let's wait on.
Have a nice weekend and thanks for your comment. Hugs. MG