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The Four Sucketeers

Movie Review: The Three Musketeers (2011)
Summary: A young man seeks to join the three musketeers to prevent Europe from falling into war.
Spoilers: none

Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 novel The Three Musketeers gets yet another facelift in this work directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (the guy who gave us Resident Evil, Death Race, and AVP) about a young sword-fighter who longs to be a part of the famed Three Musketeers.

“D’Artagnan” (Logan Lerman) is an arrogant, young hot-head who seeks out the down-in-the-dumps and remarkably unmotivated Three Musketeers (“Athos” Matthew Macfadyen, “Aramis” Luke Evans, and
“Porthos” Ray Stevenson) to put a stop to the beautiful-but-villainous turncoat assassin, “Milady de Winter” (Milla Jovovich) and her ruthless boss, the “Duke of Buckingham” (Orlando Bloom) to keep Europe from being plunged into wide-scale war.

We get a lot of everything in this candy bar-worthy flick, including beautiful, cleavage-bearing ladies who look a little too modern for their parts (and I don’t think the writers hated that at all) and dudes prancing around in leather with softly uttered accents.

And then there is this little component of Da Vinci’s secret vault and and jewels and flying machines, and other distractions that make this film what it is (and isn’t). These go with the usually improbable nick-of-time saves and feats.


Basically, this film has a little something for everyone (though probably not enough for anyone). The only knack the film has is at giving its main characters some sense of individuality while the rest are stand-in performances that waste talent and/or under-utilize actors, like Christoph Waltz as he plays the shifty and shallow, “Cardinal Richelieu.”

A staggering bore, with its perplexingly unfocused writing, most will find the film hard to appreciate. Some fencing sword-fights and stand-offs only begin to make up for its thin story near the ending where we want to feel compelled to root for those who suck less.

Milla Jovovich as "Milady de Winter"
This whole effort deserved more than this, as no one manages to be charming or appealing. Lerman is clueless and exudes no sense of the character he’s supposed to be playing and Gabriella Wilde as “Constance,” well, she’s another reason that this largely witless and unmemorable experience is what it is. Just tie her to the front of an airship with cleavage showing and she’s done. The exception is Milla Jovovich who could be the only lead character here with any grasp of who or what she’s actually supposed to be playing.

The indecisively constructed banter, like the movie itself when stripped of its Matrix-like CGI affects, doesn’t do much to take our minds off of the film’s apparent efforts to bleed dry the now dead Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

This film simply has no idea of what it wants to accomplish. If it promotes a grin and a hand-job, well, those would be accomplishments, too.

(JH)

Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of adventure-action violence)
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: “Athos” (Matthew Macfadyen), “Milady de Winter” (Milla Jovovich), “Aramis” (Luke Evans), “Porthos” (Ray Stevenson), “Duke of Buckingham” (Orlando Bloom), “D’Artagnan” (Logan Lerman)
Genre: Action / Adventure / Romance
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