Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Dork Review: The Three Musketeers

Okay, I need to start this one with a fair warning. To properly illustrate my issues with this movie will require the use of SPOILERS. So, if you don't want to read those, then look elsewhere. Otherwise, continue below.

You may have already figured out I didn't like this version of the Three Musketeers story. I have good reason for this. Not only does it fail as a Musketeer story, it fails as a flick. There was only a single likeable character in the entire movie, and that was Queen Anne. The Musketeers were jerks, D'Artagnan was an arrogant little prick, and the villains were, well, underwhelming.

Add on top of this a story riddled with anachronisms that makes a half hearted attempt at cashing in on the current steampunk trend. Okay, there isn't any steam-powered devices in the film; the creators weren't that over the top, but there is multiple airships. In fact, the ending has a whole fleet of them headed towards France.

Yes, that's right, the ending shows the beginning of an invasion. It is such a rancid piece of sequel bait it defies expectations. I wish it was worst part of the film, but no, it just endcaps this dreck.

Do you want to know the worst part? The sin this movie commits against the whole Three Musketeer mythos and every previous rendition of their story?

It has no good swordfights!

I mean, what the hell? There's only a few times the Musketeers actually pull their swords in the entire film, and so many missed opportunities. Near the end they need to travel to England to retrieve the Queen's jewels, and one of the characters states they'll need to travel back to France with every bounty hunter and assassin standing in their way. This promises a running battle back to the Palace, which would have been awesome. Instead they hijack an airship and shoot their way home.

Yes, that's right, the Musketeers shoot their way home rather than fight dashingly. Sigh.

Finally, there's one other thing that really annoyed me. I'm a fan of the Horatio Hornblower movies that came out a few years ago, and I've studied military history around the era of the Three Musketeers, so I have an idea of how many men it takes to run a cannon on a ship. The airship duel in The Three Musketeers has the Cardinal's ship with only one man per cannon! On a ship that shouldn't have any kind of manpower issues. And, they have barrels with open flames standing around everywhere! In a room filled with gunpowder and cannonballs! Again, sigh.

Really, I don't think I would have had this much of an issue with this film it it wasn't advertised as a Three Musketeer flick. If they'd taken the basic story but changed the names around or changed the era then it wouldn't have been so bad, or just gone whole hog and turn it into a complete fantasy film then that would have been okay. But to produce a sub-par Three Musketeers movie is a terrible thing to do.

If you want a film with pretty settings and great costuming, go see this. If you want a good film that's actually entertaining, go see anything else.

1 comment: