The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.
Paul W.S. Anderson
In 17th century Paris, a dashing swordsman named D'Artagnan finds himself at odds with the powerful forces taking over France. He sets out to avenge the murder of his parents and finds his country cleaved by chaos and civil unrest. His heart softens only for Francesca, a fiery peasant girl who claims D'Artagnan's heart on sight.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
First off, this film is too much action, not enough story. The first time we see D'Artagnan fight, there doesn't seem to be any point to it, other than the fact to let us know that he's this amazingly (and somewhat unbelievably) skilled swordsman and fighter. He also escapes the situation way too easily, thanks to pathetic bluff and a cut away.
The only saving grace in this film (in my opinion) is Tim Roth, who had to make due as best he could with a very bad script. But he looked cool (the only person in this film with any fashion sense whatsoever). Although later in the film he appears to have borrowed his Aunt Ida's - Sunday church revival meeting hat.
Stephen Rea, who I usually find extremely enjoyable to watch - came across as very ineffectual as the Cardinal Richelieu. Instead of being the great evil and manipulating mastermind, he almost seemed the puppet of Tim Roth's Febre...a character I've never heard of before, who seemed to fill the role previously occupied by Rochefort, as the one eyed man who killed D'Artagnan's father.
(oh for Tim Curry's Richelieu)
Justin Chamberlain is incredibly dull in this movie, and never seemed to show any emotion. It almost seemed like he sucked the life out of the actors around him. His character comes across as a thinly veiled Bruce Wayne. A young boy who watched his parents get murdered in front of him, but could do nothing. He's taken in by the kindly older friend of his father's. He then grows up and trains himself to be the best fighter, to become a hero and stop what happened to his parents from happening again.
Athos, Porthos and Aramis might as well not even have been in the film. All of the Musketeers were portrayed as drunken, miserable, arrogant, lazy jerks. Apparently D'Artagnan is the only one who still holds the ideals of the Musketeers. It seemed like Athos was only there to avoid the question - Shouldn't there be 3 of them? He didn't do a damn thing. They gave all of his character traits to Aramis, and Aramis the wouldbe priest was nowhere to be found.
King Louis XIII and Queen Anne were in their late 50's (huh?) and were childless. Okay, where do Louis XIV and Phillipe come from then? I somehow doubt that a woman in her late 50's in 17th century France would be up to having twins. As far as I know, they should have been young, and not even married yet.
The Musketeers all seemed closer in age to their Man in the Iron Mask selves, than their Three Musketeers selves. Athos even had grey in his beard.
You would think that the King's Musketeers could have afforded to dress better. Everyone looked like a bum...and there were a LOT of bad hats in this movie. D'Artagnan looked like he should have been riding the range in 1880's Oklahoma. And don't even get me started on the mullets. Did everyone in 17th century France grow up in the 1980's? The hair extensions on Justin Chamberlain were pretty bad too.
The romance between his character and Mena Suvari didn't make much sense, and seemed very forced. Although it gave D'Artagnan an excuse to go skinny dipping so the bad guys could kidnap his girlfriend.
Bad bad bad dialogue. When Mena Suvari threatened to cut off someone's balls...I pretty much gave up all hope.
The action and fight sequences were way over the top. Apparently the Cardinal makes sure his men are well versed in the fine art of - How to engage in a swordfight while hanging 100 feet in the air one handed from a rope in the rain and not fall to your death. The final fight between D'Artagnan and Febre (in what we dubbed "The Ladder Room") was too much. It seems the ladders are strong enough to support two grown men who are jumping and balancing on them, but are powerless when it comes to the mighty rapier blade. It got to the point where I was thinking - for crying out loud, would you just stand still and fight already!
D'Artagnan also has this amazing horse that appears out of nowhere when he whistles (despite having run off in a different direction earlier, or having been left lying in the road practically dead that morning).
What I found interesting is, it seems that the Musketeers all bought their cassaque cloaks at Disney's The Three Musketeers wardrobe sale. They looked EXACTLY like the ones worn by Kiefer, Charlie and Oliver...right down the length, colours and embroidery.
One of the most confusing moments came when it looked as though a character had been fatally shot, only to remark - I'm not dead. But there is no clear explanation as to why they aren't dead, and show up later no worse for wear.
I guess the palace kitchen staff are very stupid, as none of them realize that some of them have been replaced by imposters, nor does anyone notice that one of the waiters is wearing a sword...well okay, one person notices, but that scene is silly and kinda creepy.
Oh and the swords are all pretty ugly. I'm also trying to figure out, why if they hired a Hong Kong fight director to do all the choreography, did they also have a sword master?
Well that's my Musketeer rant. As always that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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