The Three Musketeers. Avoid if you can.

19 Oct 2011 00:53 #25096 by Woodclaw
The Three Musketeers. Avoid if you can. was created by Woodclaw
Ok, I'm reposting this from my DA account last journal.

Last Sunday my sister and some friends asked me to go watch the last "Three Musketeers" movie, personally I wasn't all that thrilled. See, the last high budget production based on Alexandre Dumas most famous work - "The Musketeer" from 2001 - really left me with a horrid aftertaste in my mouth, and the one before (the 1993 Disney version) wasn't much better. Plus, the trailers stressed the steampunkish style of the movie. Now, I love stempunk, but I also know how freakingly difficult is to pull a decent representation of it in a movie.
As a result I was approaching this movie with a lot of caution and a 3 meters (10 feet) pole and it was a good thing.

The movie wasn't downright terrible, but it didn't work well either.

On the positive side the casting was pretty good, the musketeers were almost perfect to a "T" and quite close to the book version (Aramis was the most distant), Logan Lerman played a decent - although very green - d'Artgnan, Milla Jovovich does a suprisingly good impression as Milady and the rest is adequate. The big surprise was Orlando Bloom as Buckingham, his performance had just the right amount of fatuity, self-importance and affably evil manners to create a credible - even if a bit comical - antagonist. My only two complains are Freddie Fox and Juno Temple as the king Louis XIII and queen Anna, they played their parts good, but they somehow miss the excellence.
The costumes and scenery also are quite good, pulling out a good balance between stylish and historical accuracy.

Now on to the bad part. The story is a horrid rape of Dumas' work. The so-called steampunk elements are very secondary and badly integrated, apart from the opening sequence that looked like a rip-off of Assassins' Creed 2. The characterization went from great to abysmal and many actors seem to suffer a lot from this. One of my biggest gripes are the fights - while they aren't as bad as those of the already quoted "The Musketeer" - the attempt to pump them into reminescent of a wuxia movie really ruins them. Now I love wuxia and I'm a big fan of some good fencing, but the two don't mix well. When I go to watch a swashbuckler movie I expect some great swordplay, some swinging from chandeliers, possibly some underhand tricks and the classic fight on the rooftop (which is present), not slow motion camera pannings and joint-splitting acrobatics. I expect something like Inigo Montoya, not Neo.

Overall this movie proves once again that some great imagery isn't enough to save a bad plot. Which seem to be a theme in many Paul Anderson movies.

Now my biggest question, "The Three Musketeers" is one of the most abused books as far as movie adaptations goes. This last horror being the 14th official movie, not counting TV adaptations or animated series. I've read the book at least six times and it's a really good book, it's easy to follow, it's lot of action and the chapter structure makes very easy to cut and paste without losing too much of the story. All in all it's almost a ready made script. Now why every modern adaptation seem so eager to butcher this book for the sake of adding some special effects?

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