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The Good & Bad Of 'The Muskateer'
ccthemovieman-12 November 2006
The star of the show is Justin Chambers and he gets incidental billing which is ridiculous despite his lack of acting skills. More good and bad news:

BAD - Having a weak lead actor is not the way to have box-office success. Stupid dialog doesn't help either, along with the Rambo action mentality in which the good guy doesn't get hit from close range.

GOOD - Some of the action scenes were spectacular, the best swordplay I've ever seen. The ones at the beginning and the end of the film were the best, with some incredible stunt work. This is beautifully photographed, too. Tim Roth was a good villain, as usual, and the heroes - even if they couldn't act - were fun to watch. The language is tame in here and the film should be rated PG, not PG- 13.
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Has its highs and lows
bulldawg81107 April 2006
This is a movie that really doesn't know what it is. For one thing, it seems to try and hang on to some parts of the story by Dumas, and yet it also is an entirely different story. Seemingly, the only real similarities are the names of the characters. This movie would be much more effective if it was entirely its own story, and not using the names of the famous characters. The reason? This movie totally dashes the names of those characters.

The most unsettling part for me was the fact that the Three Musketeers are nothing like themselves. Porthos is not the least bit arrogant or over-the-top. Aramis isn't religious at all. And Athos does not even remotely resemble the character in the book. Sadly, Justin Chambers makes a better d'Artagnan than Chris O' Donnell, but only because he doesn't do any acting at all, which is better than the profuse overacting of O' Donnell. And Stephen Rea is a good actor, but his character isn't remotely as menacing as Richelieu should be.

With all of that said, if you just view it as a movie, and try to block the actual story out of your mind, it can be entertaining. The fight scenes are very well done, and the pacing keeps the viewer interested. Perhaps this movie could have been really good if it was about the story of a musketeer NOT named d'Artagnan, and his unique adventure. But since it tries to be an interpretation of Dumas, it falls miserably short. As a movie, it is so-so, but as far as an interpretation of the famous story, it is absolutely terrible.
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Not great, but entertaining
aaronjustice16 January 2003
If you are a fan of swashbuckling, this is not a film to miss, as long as you are able to overlook the bad acting and the obvious Asian influences in the fighting.

I have seen worse films. Most definitely. The rating of 4.2 is much too low for this movie, I think a 5.5 to 6 is more appropriate. It's not a great movie by any means, but it does have it's moments.

The opening swordfight in the resturaunt is the best in the movie. At least it was the most believable with the exception of the barrels. I found the ladders and some of the ropeplay in the Versailles to be much more unrealistic. However I tend to like movie due to the sophistication of the choreography, because I am involved in fighting choreography too.
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Kung Fu Musketeers just don't seem to cut it...
moviemanMA1 July 2005
The Musketeer really did the novel it was based upon no justice what so ever. The movie had incredible stunts and great fights...if you were in the Matrix. These fights are the only reason I give this movie a rating of four.

There is no acting what so ever. Tim Roth, although he can play a great villain, he shows barely any emotion. Justin Chambers is the same way. I'm sure he didn't perform those stunts such as the ridiculous scene where he is pictured jumping from saddle to saddle across moving horses.

This movie brings nothing to the table except fancy martial arts. Keep in mind this takes place in old France. I don't recall the Musketeer's learning how to fight while rolling across wooden wine barrels.

If you are desperate for a fight scene, be my guest. There are certainly some good fights going on in this picture. Everything in between is just a joke. The Musketeer is not the worst movie ever made, but it's far from great.
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What were they thinking?!
Lacroix19 October 2002
Just really, really, really bad!

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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Fun popcorn muncher
bkbirge11 December 2013
I'm a huge Dumas fan and watch every one of the adaptations but I missed this one originally. Just caught it on netflix and it's nowhere near as bad as it's made out to be. Yes, the lead is a little off and there isn't much chemistry between him and Mena Suvari who isn't at her best either. The wire based fight scenes look dated and there are a few scene pacing problems.

But overall this was quite fun. There *is* chemistry between the Queen and D'artagnan thanks to Catherine Deneuve who exudes star quality in every scene she's in. There are some nice performances from most of the character actors, the original 3 musketeers are great, and the humor if not the plot is very in keeping with the book.

I first thought this was a made for TV movie because of the credits at the beginning so I wasn't really expecting much and this definitely beat my expectations. The movie looks good and aside from a few characters most of them seem fairly real, the balance between schtick and too- serious was handled well.

Overall, too many faults to be a classic but definitely enough class and fun to be very entertaining. Recommended for fans of period movies and the tongue in cheek dramedy.
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Average but better than some
pawtrax6727 September 2007
I for one don't understand how people can rate this as a 4 or less and then say Eraserhead is a masterpiece. The whole reason the movie was called "The Musketeer" is it pretty much has no relation to Alexandre Dumas' classic novel. The 1973 Three/Four Musketeers is about as close to the book as we're going to get. This movie the acting is hampered by really stupid dialog. It made George Lucas movies look literate.

The action is great, but completely out of historical reality, then again its a movie, not a documentary. Entertaining? Yes, I thought so. Not as much as seeing Oliver Reed and Micheal York. As bad as the lead was, he was Oscar caliber compared to the absolutely useless Chis O'Donnell in the 1993 version. Given a choice between the 1993 version and this movie, I'd take this one.

If you want a good swashbuckler, stick to Errol Flynn, or even Mask of Zorro. If you want Musketeers see the 1973/74 version. Better yet, just pick up the book.
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A Must Miss Film
Desertman848 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Musketeer is a film very loosely based on Alexandre Dumas' classic novel The Three Musketeers.It stars Catherine Deneuve, Tim Roth, Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Nick Moran, Bill Treacher and Justin Chambers.The movie was directed by Peter Hyams.

The Musketeer was set 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. D'Artagnan, after witnessing his unarmed parents slain by the evil Febre ,grows up wanting to be a musketeer, one of King Louis XIII's loyal protectors. Upon arriving in Paris, however, he finds that the Musketeers have been disbanded by order of Cardinal Richelieu, who is usurping the king's authority with the help of his lethal henchman, Febre.Traveling to Paris, D'Artagnan verbally spars with witless quip- spouting musketeers Aramis, Athos and Porthos. D'Artagnan heads off guarding the queen, who is traveling incognito as a commoner on her way to meet Lord Buckingham. The evil Febre, his leash held loosely by the evil Cardinal Richilieu, wants to kill the Queen in order to sow unrest and war, which would create opportunities to profit, a war between France and England.

The Musketeer is a film that relies mainly of cheesy action scenes mostly on cheesy and unrealistic swordplay.Aside from that,it also has poor story that makes minimized Dumas' classic into a forgettable novel. Acting is decent and the editing presents somewhat a confusing story.

Overall,The Musketeer is a MUST MISS film.
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Acceptable on its own limited terms
Brian B-231 August 2002
I dissent from the negative comments based on comparisons to the novel, or earlier " Three Musketeer" movies. This movie has no pretense of remaking the novel, or earlier movie versions ( the Michael York/Raquel Welch version is a classic). It is, at most, a modest "prequel", designed to capture young action viewers, and romantics ( Justin Chambers/ Mena Suvari); dirty old men ( Mena Suvari); and Deneuve fans (as all men ought to be).

Mena Suvari is wooden and ornamental, but Chambers here is at least as good as Heath Ledger in "A Knight's Tale". Deneuve is excellent as always. Tim Roth is a definitional villain, although Stephen Rea is a weak Richeleau. Lesser knowns as the other musketeers , and the French actor as " Planche", add spice.

I am a sucker for swordfighting movies, so loved this one.

There are many worse choices in your video store.
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One of the worst movies I have ever seen
Juni78ukr1 March 2003
The thing is that "The Musketeer" is not only the absolutely worst adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel's I have ever seen. What is more for me it's also a very strong contender for being called one of the worst movies ever. Actually this rubbish has nothing to do with classic Dumas' "Three Musketeers".

For unknown reason screenwriters changed simply everything and in the result they got silly and laughable story filled with numerous plot holes and anachronisms. Dialogs look like they were written by a modern teenager and somehow characters development was totally forgotten. No one cares about movie's characters, they're uninteresting and pathetic while the whole movie is emotionally flat practically all the time. Poor direction leave room only for pointless action with ridiculously made in Eastern style fight scenes sometimes mixed with silly jokes. Add to all this horrible acting and most likely you'll get a well-deserved position in your all-time worst list. Absolute waste of 40 million dollars as well as your precious time and money. Avoid it as a plague.

2 out of 10
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Spectacular fights and lots of action in this average version of the Alexandre Dumas classic
ma-cortes24 November 2008
Dártagnan (Justin Chambers) undergoes a revenge against the man dressed in black (Tim Roth) who murdered his father . Fourteen years later he goes out from Gascogne along with Planchet (Jean Pierre Castaldi) and confronting plunders and bandits on the trip to Paris . He meets for the first time worthless three musketeers , Athos (Kemp) , Porthos (Steve Speirs) and Aramis (Nick Moran) and get their swords crossed up . DÁrtagnan and the three Musketeers cross swords with the lackeys of scheming cardinal Richelieu (Stephen Rea) and first Mister Treville (Michael Byrne) , head of the Musketeers . They try to help king Louis XIII (Mesguich) who is negotiating a treatise with Duke of Buckinghan (Jeremy Clyde). Meanwhile , Queen Anna (Catherine Deneuve) and Francesca (Mena Suvari) are kidnapped by Febre and closed in his castle .

Mediocre version of the classic swashbuckler by Alexandre Dumas whose novel has been adapted a dozen times approximately . Attractive costumes , haunting french locations , fast paced and contains scrumptious action scenes with bounds and leaps in 'Matrix' style . This is primarily and middling made due to some blatant miscasting . Justin Chambers as Dártagnan and his co-star acting as the Queen's seamstress are never convincing as French citizens during the reign of Louis XIII . D'Artagnan did really exist , his name was Charles de Batz and was called D'Artagnan when he arrived in Paris probably because he was coming from the south-west of France where the movie was partly shot and where is the little city of Artagnan . Lively musical score by David Arnold , habitual in James Bond films . Dark photography by Peter Hyams , usually cameraman and filmmaker ; being filmed in south-west of France on location in Castle , Cassaigne, Gers, Castle Miramont-Latour, Gers, Midi-Pyrénées, and Auch, Gers, France . The motion picture was regularly directed by Peter Hyams . He's an irregular director with hits (Relic, Outland , Capricorn one , Timecop , Sudden death) and flops (Sound and thunder , End of days).

Other versions about this classic are the followings : 1921 mute rendition by Fred Niblo with Douglas Fairbanks ; 1935 adaptation by Rowland V Lee with Walter Abel and Paul Lukas ; 1948 the classic version by George Sidney with Gene Kelly , June Allyson , Van Heflin , Paul Lukas and Lana Turner ; 1973 amusing version by Richard Lester with Michael York , Oliver Reed and Raquel Welch ; 1993 modern adaptation by Stephen Herek with Charlie Shen, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Chris O'Donnell , among others .
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How do you say "What a load of rubbish!" in French?
petra_ste27 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There is a famous Woody Allen joke in which he boasts taking a course in speed reading and then finishing War and Peace in less than an hour.

"It was about Russia".

It looks like scriptwriter Gene Quintano (author of Police Academy 3, 4, 5, enough said) used the same approach with Dumas' classic: he skimmed through the book in twenty minutes and managed to understand the story was set in 17th century France.

Oh, and some characters have the right names.

Roth, Rea and Deneuve sleepwalk through their roles, probably focusing on the rich paychecks for which they accepted to be humiliated. Useless Athos, Aramis and Porthos might as well have been cut. Mena Suvari is unspeakably atrocious as Francesca - they even got the name wrong (it was Constance). As D'Artagnan, a mopey Justin Chambers is awful and miscast.

Set-pieces are over-the-top ridiculous, with an overblown direction by Peter Hyams - who somehow managed to make two decent movies (Outland and The Relic), but is otherwise responsible for some really horrible stuff.

The Musketeer makes the embarrassing Disney version look like a masterpiece.

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Tim Roth steals the show....
Psycho_Llama29 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING OPINIONATED REVIEW BY A SMALL TOWN MOVIE FANATIC CONTAINS EXPLICIT SPOILERS) * The plot outline can be read elsewhere, and you can also find it from other user comments, so I'll just jump into some of my ideas. Tim Roth has great moments as the blood-thirsty renegade Fabre. His dialogue with young D'Artagnan during the movie's opening scene are especially entertaining. And who could forget his conversations with Cardinal Richelieu? (I'm about to butcher some quotes here, so Musketeer fans, prepare yourselves) CR: "Without killing anyone, I want you to embarrass them." F: "What if I - must kill someone?" Then the Cardinal says rather apathetically: "Well, if you must, you must." Then later in the film the Cardinal becomes angry with Fabre's exploits and Fabre says "Are you going to damn me to hell? I'm certain that's where I'm going, perhaps we can finish our conversation there?" Chilling. Francesca's threat to her incest-driven uncle about cutting off his *gonads*, and then feeding them to the pigs made woman all over the world cheer in unison, I'm sure. Steven Spiers as Porthos also gives a good performance. The physics seen in the more outlandish action sequences pulls me away from the movie, realizing it's only a movie. But in the end, it IS telling the fantastic tale of the valiant Musketeers, so see it, enjoy it, take it back before the store closes... "ONE FOR ALL! AND ALL FOR FUN!"
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Not for Everyone
spulgari10 September 2001
Ok, I've read a couple of reviews and comments on this movie, and one topic keeps coming's all about D'Artagnan...hello...the name of the movie is The Musketeer not The Three Musketeers. So many others complain that the movie does not follow the book. Well I hope those who made those comments actually read the book and actually listened to the movie preview...The Musketeer is supposed to be a re-imagined version of the The Three Musketeers not a page by page re-enactment of the novel.

Ok, I'll admit some of the fight scenes were ridiculous but nothing that the film-maker didn't warn the audience about,so unless you went into the movie theater blind folded or never saw a martial arts movie, you knew what to expect from a martial arts movie director.

If you haven't read the novel, I recommend you do, it is an unforgettable experience. D'Artagnan was an arrogant young man, and he spoke dryly, as Justin Chambers portrayed his character in this movie. Justin still has a lot of maturing to do as an actor, but nonetheless, he did a good job at capturing D'Artagnan's character as Alexandre Dumas might have invisioned him.

It is obvious that the screenplay writers did not write word for word, they simply summarized the most important scenes from the novel. D'Artagnan watching his parents get murdered, him seeking revenge, wanting to become a musketeer like his father, the way he met Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. The political atmosphere of the time was the same as it was in the book, and our antagonist, was of course as evil as a summarized version can get.

What about the cinematography? Yes it was dark, it was in a way, the director's way of making a movie that was packed with ridiculous action and two well choreographed fight scenes a little more serious. France was at its worst with Spain and England ready to declare war. Hunger and poverty plagued the country. The movie had to be dark, characters had to be in the shadows, this was not the happiest and brightest period of France's history. In his novel, Alexandre Dumas makes it clear that his novel was not just about an awesome adventure but also about history.

All in all, I like the movie,I am not ashamed to admit it. It was fun, and re-imagined, so people should not get too caught up about the story line. One question still remains...why is it that people get all caught up in Justin Chambers' looks? Did people complain about Christopher Reve in Superman or Val Kilmer in Batman, lets admit it, people like attractive protagonists...hello...this is Hollywood!!! what do you expect?
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just read the review
luke_bale27 August 2003
Somebody said they could have tried adding something new to the story, I have to wonder if that person saw the fight scenes which were very eastern influenced, something new could have been added, the musketeer was pulling moves I've seen in Jacky Chan films when was the last time you saw that in a film. Its not fantastic but It doesn't try to be the best film ever it's going for entertainment value. Alot of people whined about the script and dialogue, this film is a pg and has many childlike attributes the stereotypical hero saves the day and the damzel essentially it is a family film do disney films recite shakespere dialogue? NO thats because making it to complicated would cut out the biggest part of the target audience. Compared to todays standard of films I don't think this is any worse than stuff I find in my local video rental place, great sets, great costumes a mixture of ideas which seems to work well. One problem I would agree with is that at times the fight scenes are not shown off very well at all, parts are to dark and camera angles are not always good but generally it's watchable and you see the best parts. I would recomend this film for the entertainment and enjoyable value of it not bad at all. Another period, martial arts film I would recomend is brotherhood of the wolf, that offers a little more in terms of script but less in terms of swashbuckling.
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Light Fare
tedg24 September 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I've seen most of Hyam's films. Dreadful they are, and this one too. At least so far as story, score and acting. But you knew that.

But here, his lighting is very appealing and to my mind actually redeems this, especially if you see it on a big screen. There's nothing original that I could see, especially on the _movement_ of the camera. But if you just look at the pictures, they're quite enriching. Not a must see, but definitely some gems, rather like much `classical' music: It's banal, but oddly hypnotizing in its chocolately overtones.

Two minor points. The sound editing is pretty adventuresome and is equally rich. And not just the thuds of skulls but the jangle of chains, squeak of leather, splashing of bathwater against Mena's back. And then there's Tim Roth. He works, not just walks through as Deneuve and Rea. I'm convinced that he is not a bad character actor, but that he acts as a bad character actor acting a part above his head. We know he can act, certainly the best in this cast: `The Cook, 89,' `Vincent, 90,' `Rosencrantz, 90. Once you see him there, you see that he acts the actor not the part. Check out his solution to the face puppet of `Planet of the Apes.'
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How to lousy a beautiful story
almaa3122 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
You'll get a one for that. I got it for 'free' from my DVD rental company and I wish they hadn't sent me that piece of crap. I found most of the actors awful topped up with bad acting, bad plot, bad music, bad dialogues.

I cringe to see how Alexandre Dumas masterpiece has been disfigured. D'Artagnan is very handsome but totally weak, doesn't have the attitude. And what really really annoys me is this: Louis XIII and Anne d'Autriche were supposed to be in their mid-twenties at the time the story takes place. Deneuve? Mesguich? They must be joking. The only exception is maybe Tim Roth who is the only convincing character with brilliant acting.

I can't find anything that'd really make it worth to watch. It tastes just too damn American probably made by amateurs who have no pride in doing quality cinema. A substandard supermarket product for the masses.
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Swashbuckling Buckles under the Film
TheVirginArmy26 September 2003
seems a well intended tribute to the original film , but lacked depth in my view. not enough time for depth i suppose when you are in the air slicing about with a sword every 3 minutes. if you like bruce willis style car chases shootem up films, then you'll like this, ( unless you are find it too "cultural" for yourself) :) Myself, i found my mind wandering during it to such things as " I wonder if my socks will match if i look down" and other more fascinating thoughts.
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A sinful piece of film-making...
giancarlorocks1 March 2002
It is imperative to note that before reading the following critical assessment of ‘The Musketeer', I have a personal bias towards Director Peter Hyams. I have never met the man, nor would I bask in his company. Yet I would like to ask him one question. The question would be along the lines of, `Why do you continuously make horrible films?' This Director has made films in the past that have proved to be deplorable, yet he still continues to work in Hollywood. Before a reader mistakes this review for a critical ‘bashing' of this Director, they are not mistaken. Simply watch the horrendous film that fuses Hong Kong style action with 17th century swordplay and one can determine the result without even viewing this film. Peter Hyams has directed Jean Claude Van Damme in ‘Sudden Death' and ‘TimeCop'. He has also directed Arnold Schwarzenneger in ‘End of Days'. In his early work, he made ‘2010' and ‘The Presidio'. These two films were generally regarded as decent films, yet it is clear that his best days are behind him. ‘The Musketeer' proves to be one of the worst films ever.

If I possess hatred towards the man, I do not. I respect all Directors. The role of Director is the most respectable and most difficult task of any of the Cinematic tasks. Yet, what I do not respect is when Directors make no attempt at creating a vivid and intriguing film. Clearly such is the case with the misdirected and ultimately devastatingly boring of films with ‘The Musketeer'. Hyams' latest debacle stars Justin Chambers (The Wedding Planner) as D'Artagnan; a man hell-bent on joining the Musketeers in order to avenge his parents' death. The classic Alexandre Dumas story has been adapted for the screen many times, yet never in a way that crucifies the script for the sake injecting a new style. Director Hyams adds an infusion of Hong Kong style to the swashbuckling scenes in hopes of creating an updated Hollywood-ized Eastern version of the great tale. The result – another failure on Peter Hyam's resume.

Not convinced of this film's ridiculousness? View the first half hour of the film and witness for yourself the most badly lit scenes ever captured on film. In broad daylight sequences revolving around indoor discussions, Hyams (who serves as his own Director of Photography) captures his subjects speaking in shadows and dark profiles that seen completely out of place. Simply put, I could not get past this flaw. By this point, one may have realized the utter wretchedness of the film. I am deeply apologetic because for such a massive production, it is a poor, poor attempt at updating a premise that should be finally left alone.

On another note, I loathe the film and the Director simply because there is no attempt at creating a ‘fun' film. The film's greatest flaw is that it takes itself too seriously. Notice Hyam's direction, the entire film is shot rarely without any moving camera shots or intense close ups. The discerning viewer may count how many times the camera actually swoops and follows the action on screen. Even thought the fight sequences are choreographed in an outlandish style and could have been somewhat entertaining, Hyams simply sets up his cameras from various angles and lets it roll. Unfortunately, the film is a horrible attempt at a fresh and inventive spin on a great tale. One last aspect to be noted – the opening credits. They are completely amateur and moody just like Hyam's lighting. In conclusion, save your time and although the 1993 Disney Version was also horrible, it still was a whole lot more enjoyable to watch than this sinful piece of filmmaking.

Giancarlo's rating: Can you spell G-A-R-B-A-G-E?
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Cobblestone streets, torches, the Musketeers and modern-action techniques
Wuchakk3 May 2015
Loosely based on Alexandre Dumas' classic adventure novel "The Three Musketeers," 2001's "The Musketeer" stars Justin Chambers as d'Artagnan who, as a kid, witnesses his parents murdered by the wicked Febre (Tim Roth). As a young man seeking justice, he travels to Paris and hooks up with the three Musketeers (Nick Moran, Steve Speirs and Jan-Gregor Kremp). Meanwhile he takes a fancy to fiery chambermaid, Francesca (Mena Suvari), who is the daughter of the deceased seamstress to the Queen (Catherine Deneuve). Stephen Rea plays the corrupt and despicable Cardinal Richelieu.

While people love to loathe this film I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was directed by Peter Hyams (director of 1999's "End of Days") and comes across as a less-grim Conan tale switched to 17th century France and plays like 1995's "Rob Roy" with a kinetic Indiana Jones flair, albeit set in France rather than Scotland. The tone is essentially realistic until the swashbuckling scenes take place, which are dynamic, but totally over-the-top.

If you're a fan of the Conan, Rob Roy, Indiana Jones, Sinbad and Zorro flicks I think you'll appreciate this movie. It's as good or better than most of them. No kidding. Beyond the thrilling action sequences, there are a number of great or near-great elements: Chambers plays a great protagonist and Roth the perfect villain, the latter proved in "Rob Roy" (he's just as wicked here). Not to mention, the lovely Mena is formidable as the babe. But it's the excellent sets and mood that I like most – the cobblestone streets, torches, horses & carriages, villages, castles and 17th century costuming. It's inexplicable that Chambers didn't go on to become a star, like Brad Pitt.

The film runs 100 minutes and was shot in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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The Musketeer
animlcrackers17 February 2005
i have to admit that i actually bought this movie. i am a big fan of dumas books, particularly his exploration of 17th century France and the illustrious band of musketeers. when i saw the commercials i was exstatic, because the sword play looked fantastic.

having now seen the film, i can say that the fencing is its only redeeming quality. the sword play is fantastic - particularly the bar room barrel scene and the final showdown. the battles are fast, furious, and exciting. Unfortunately, however they are few and far between. In fact, there are only two in the entire film. Also important to note, the enjoyment of these scenes are marred by the poor lighting. While the battles are gripping they also leave the audience wanting - for a better glimpse of the action.

The costuming and the attention to grime is noteworthy. it paints a realistic picture of France - not the overly romanticized scenes and backdrops seen in other musketeer films (disney's 3 musketeers, and iron mask).

Aside from the costuming and sword play, the movie is horrible. The lines are delivered poorly as if someone were whispering on the side, "you talk now." The musketeers were drunkards - and not those that those who follow the genre have grown to love. the musketeer story in fact, might as well have been thrown out - for it resembles nothing of dumas's original tale, save the blue frocks and silver crosses.

if you see it, see it for the action, and then go, knowing it will be hard to see.
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No, it's not The Matrix, but it's not Batman & Robin either
I just saw this and it's no way near as bad as it's rep. People on the IMDb are saying it's one of the worst films ever made (!) - how many films have they seen? Proberbaly only The Matrix and Spider-Man. The Three Musketeers were unrecognisable in the film, not the dashing heroes we're used to, but D'Artagnon was the coolest (and funniest) so far and the fight scenes were far and away the best ever in a Musketeer movie. The sword fights weren't your usual prancing about, but intense and frantic, much like the Jedi's duels with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. The Jackie Chan-style stunts and the changes to the novel were controversial, but the fresh approach added to the film for me. If you expect a classic adaption of the novel with traditional swashbucking, forget it. Instead look for an updated take on the story with lavish and atmospheric visuals, a cool-yet-relatable D'Artagnon, Mena Suvari, loads of intense sword fighting and spectacular stunts.
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Agent1020 March 2003
Ouch! I felt so sick inside after watching this movie. Interesting idea, bad execution. In a film more overdone than an episode of Marshall Law, Musketeer brought a new low to period film making. The trouble with this story is the fact that we already know the story, and flying in mid-air with crazy stunts and unbelievable action won't liven up a familiar story that probably shouldn't have been messed with. Too bad. Maybe something new could have been introduced to this story, but instead, we get another useless retread.
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A Resounding Dud
KingProjector938 December 2014
I doubt I need to explain the plot. It's Three Musketeers, nuff said. However this time, it has action choreographed by Hong Kong master Xin Xin Xiong (martials arts buffs among you may recognize the name).

Neat production values and some interesting kung-fu/swashbuckling set pieces, like sword duels on the side of a tower or across ladders, aside, this is a really dull, lackluster version of the classic adventure (at least W.S' mess had some steampunk thrown in, and even Disney gave us the forever badass Michael Wincott and a rather amusing Oliver Platt).

OH BOY, OH BOY, where to start? Well, the performances are flat-as- shot-tires all around, with the normally terrific Stephen Rea as a seemingly always monotone Richeleu being especially inexcusable. Mix that with thin characters that aren't engaging or lively in the slightest, and a plot that oversimplifies the story absurdly to focus solely on D'Artagnan, making the other Musketeers almost redundant, as well as even more lifeless (the witty repartee and banter, as well as 'All for One' friendship that almost every other version has? Completely Absent). And as if this cake needed more icing, the utterly generic score from the otherwise talented David Arnold (Stargate, Sherlock) that doesn't do much adrenaline pumping, nor has any real whimsy or levity to it.

In the end, this is the text-book definition of 'unnecessary'. The concept of swashbuckling + kung fu should make for, at least, good cheesy fun, but when that is the ONE and ONLY thing your movie has going for it, you have officially failed as a film maker.
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Anemic and indifferent
Nick_Charles2 September 2005
This take on "The Three Musketeers" is probably the most mindless one. The story is vaguely reminiscent to the one we're used to, but it is really a macho match between D'Artagnan and Febre (The man in Black). Everyone else is reduced to supporting roles for their boorish duel. The normally interesting and intriguing cardinal Richelieu is a shadow of the historic one and of the Dumas character, acting as a pushover for both the aforementioned characters. Catherine Deneuve looks as if she's looking for a way out of the film, and the three musketeers look as if they are over the top and just along for the ride.

In summary: The plot is silly beyond belief, the acting is weak, the witty remarks lacking and the swordplay ridiculous. Not worth your time or money.
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