Paul W.S. Anderson is continuing his action movie trend with his new feature film THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Shifting gears from video game adaptations to books, Anderson’s take on Alexander Dumas’ swashbuckling novel has everything you’d expect in a big budget action flick. Dirty plots, love, betrayal and elaborate fight scenes are all present and it’s the standard formula for a song and dance that Hollywood has done to death. The finished product is quite predictable, but that being said, Anderson has still managed to make an entertaining film.
The story centers around the three down on their luck Musketeers who rally to keep France from going to war with England. Athos, played by PRIDE AND PREJUDICE actor Matthew Macfayden, has been betrayed by the beautiful and cunning double agent Milady DeWinter, RESIDENT EVIL’s Milla Jovovich, and is coping by consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Aramis, portrayed by up and coming actor Luke Evans, has chosen to join the clergy and pray his sorrows away while Porthos, THOR’s Ray Stevenson, has picked the route of a gigolo. Through convenient coincidence the three friends come across hot headed youth D’Artagnan, PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF actor Logan Lerman, and begin their quest to save France. Their foes along the way are the sly Duke of Buckingham, LORD OF THE RINGS actor Orlando Bloom, and clever Cardinal Richelieu, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Academy Award winner, Christoph Waltz.
Honestly, I had low expectations going into this film and I was pleasantly surprised to find that, most of the time, I was fully engaged in the story. The fight scenes were well placed, well choreographed and the dialogue had clever flashes of wit. The actor’s performances were decent, although it would be nice to see Christoph Waltz deviate from the personable villain persona that made him famous. Certain parts of the story seemed to lack development, such as the love affair between D’Artagnan and the queen’s lady in waiting, but on the other hand it is an action film and the action did take precedence over some of the weaker points of the storyline. Overall, Anderson has made a fun and solid film. If you’re unsure of what to see this Fall and don’t mind a bit of frivolity I would recommend THE THREE MUSKETEERS.
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