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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Logan Lerman
Ray Stevenson
Mads Mikkelsen
Luke Evans
Matthew Macfadyen
Christoph Waltz
Milla Jovovich
Orlando Bloom.
Directors
Paul WS Anderson.
Screenwriters
Running Time
120 minutes

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The Three Musketeers
From Dumas to dumbass


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Plot
D’Artagnan (Lerman) heads to Paris to become a Musketeer and becomes embroiled in a ‘plot’ involving the Queen’s jewels, the King’s manhood, Cardinal Richelieu’s plans for European domination, Milady’sdouble-crossing and Buckingham’s “war machine”.


Review
The Three Musketeers
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Since cinema’s birth, there’s always been something irrestistible
about Alexandre Dumas’ D’Artagnan Romances. The high adventure, the swordplay, the cheek, the hair, the uniforms, and that fizzy cocktail of personalities: dour, boozy Athos, conflicted Aramis, jolly Porthos, hotheaded D’Artagnan. And yet, ever since Richard Lester’s glorious first stab in 1973 (Reed, Chamberlain, Finlay, York), that lack of resistance has only been rewarded with naffness: witness Disney’s creaky ’93 version (Sutherland, Sheen, Platt, O’Donnell), or Randall Wallace’s snoozy The Man In The Iron Mask (Malkovich, Irons, Depardieu, Byrne).

Such low expectations only benefit this latest incarnation of The
Three Musketeers, from the Michael Bay of B-movies, Paul W.S.
Anderson. It is absolutely, intensely and resolutely daft. For some
reason, Anderson and his scripters Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies
decided that the one thing the novels were missing was huge fucking airships. With machine guns. And flame-throwers. Also, it’s not enough that Athos (Macfadyen, moody), Aramis (Evans, cool) and Porthos (Stevenson, big) be Musketeers. They must also be an 18th-century blend of Ethan Hunt, James Bond and Batman who have to tackle OTT, Indiana Jones-style deathtraps. Meanwhile, why go to Dumas for your zings, when you can just plunder other movies? One entire exchange is lifted from A Fistful Of Dollars, and Princess Bride scribe William Goldman might want to be checking his pockets. Elsewhere, Lerman’s D’Artagnan is a smug, charmless little creep, James Corden’s Planchet squeezes out ‘comic relief’ like he’s constipated… And yet…

And yet… We know we shouldn’t have, but we enjoyed this. For, amid the guilty pleasures of the ludicrous “war machines” and Orlando Bloom’s even more ludicrous hairdo (as spaniel/fox/Lesley Phillips-hybrid Buckingham) there are some guiltless ones in the traditionally choreographed fencing, including a superb climactic cathedral-roof duel between Lerman’s D’Artagnan and Mads Mikkelsen’s nefarious Rochefort. Also, l’il D aside, the Musketeers are well cast, and enjoy an easy chemistry — enough for us to actually not dread the likelihood of a sequel. Actually, sod it: we’d look forward to the sequel. Even if it means more airships.


Verdict
Stupid, with three o’s. But also fun, never boring, and never insulting (to anyone other than Dumas) — unlike certain of the summer’s A-pics…


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Three Musketeers
Empire Star Rating

RE: RE:

Please please Hollywood, more versions of the 3 Musketeers. ... More

Posted by kargon at 19:38, 10 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I have no intention of seeing this at the cinema but I have to say I really enjoyed the review!  ... More

Posted by gordonsalive at 19:36, 10 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

It should have a Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting soundtrack..... ....oh. ... More

Posted by Spaldron at 15:41, 10 October 2011 | Report This Post


Intriguing. Jolin has listed all my fears about the film... but if it's fun, I could be persuaded. Plus I love McFadyen, Evans and especially Stevenson. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Timon at 14:21, 10 October 2011 | Report This Post


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