Monday, October 24, 2011

The Three Musketeers

Wow!  The Three Musketeers is getting way worse reviews than it deserves.  This is probably one of those times where critics don't allow themselves to have fun and just enjoy a movie for once.  It has lots of problems with the biggest one being a lackluster story which does nothing to set it apart from past versions.  BUT WHO CARES?!?! Not me.

This 2011 update of the classic tale is tons of fun and should not be avoided.  Plus, I advise that you go see it in the theater and don't wait to see it at home. do not have to see it in 3D to enjoy it.  It was actually shot with 3D cameras though and was not transferred in post as so many movies are these days. I saw it in regular 2D but will likely go back and see it in 3D just to compare.

Ok, I'll admit it...the movie is over the top in just about every way.  The costumes were gorgeous and the sets (often standing in for actual locations-boo) were exquisite. 
From l to r: Aramis, Athos, Milady, and Porthos.
The cast was very good and on the whole did a much better job than the last group (but I do so love Oliver Platt). In fact it's extremely difficult to not do direct comparisons.  Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan surprised me. I have seen him in movies like 3:10 To Yuma and Percy Jackson but was mostly unimpressed.  I had no expectations of him in this movie and was surprised at how well he did.  He was overly cocky but delivered.  Lerman handled the fight scenes (mostly with swords) incredibly well and was the right age for the youngest Musketeer. Matthew MacFadyen was fantastic as the often drunk Athos and played it more broken than buffoon. Luke Evans was the delicious and tortured Aramis.  Keep your eye out for Evans.  He's done a lot of supporting roles in films like Robin Hood and Clash of the Titans but has a list of things coming out in the next year like Immortals, The Raven and a little movie called The HobbitRay Stephenson as Porthos had lots of cocky bravado and was less the comic relief.  In fact, really these Musketeers were funny but so much less dopey than past iterations.  They left the dopey to the supporting cast which I think was a smart move.

Speaking of dopey, the major buffoonery was left to Orlando Bloom who played uber-ponce, Duke of Buckingham.  His hair and outfits were pretty dang ridiculous and I have a feeling it was hard for him to not overact because of them. Christoph Waltx, who kicked butt in Inglorious Basterds was a very good Cardinal Richelieu. The two people playing King Louis and Queen Anne were good but you can look them up on your own. Milla Jovovich was fine as Milady deWinter but I think she was only in this because her husband was the director.

Since I brought up the director, Paul W.S. Anderson, I may as well share my thoughts on his work too.  I liked a lot of the choices he made for this and overall think he did a fine job.  The dude is good with action and this movie had tons of it.  My biggest complaint was a tool he uses often in the Resident Evil movies...the slo-mo fight scene.  In fact, I'm betting the fight choreographer is the same guy too.  Really you could have put Milla in one of her Resident Evil outfits and the fighting would have been identical.  He didn't over use the slo-mo fight scene but it was really obvious when it was being used.

Listen, the movie isn't going to win any big awards but it is what it is...FUN.  Don't have high expectations and you'll like it.

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