Oct 31, 2011

[Movies] The Three Musketeers (2011)

For the most part, I make sure that the only movies that I watch in actual movie theaters are worth the added expense. Beyond the ticket price, there's the need to travel to the mall in question, the possibility of getting snacks and all those other incidental costs that come along when you're in a major shopping center.

This was not one of those movies. Instead, this was a movie that I ended up watching with my family since we needed to kill about two more hours of time before picking up my brother, It was the only decent thing on given The Podium only has two cinemas.

And while I had not heard much about this movie before watching it but the premise seemed interesting enough. I guiltily enjoyed the 1993 version of this story created by Disney. I happen to like aspects of the whole Steampunk movement / aesthetic.

But I had no idea what happened to this movie to make me walk out of the theater with such disgust and annoyance.

Heck, this movie made me miss the 1993 Disney version of the movie.

The Three Musketeers is a 2011 action adventure movie adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas. This version was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, who was the same guy behind the Resident Evil movies. The screenplay was by Andrew Davies and Alex Litvak.

The movie starts with an action-packed sequence of the Three Musketeers - Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aamis (Luke Evans) helping Athos' current flame, Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich). Their task is to steal some blueprints for an airship created by Leonardo da Vinci. But just when they have the prize safely in hand, they are betrayed by Milady who hands over the plans to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom).

One year later, a young D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) decides to venture to Paris in the hopes of becoming a Musketeer. But the Musketeers had been disbanded by Cardinal Richelieu (Christophy Waltz) because of their failure to secure the plans. On his journey he accidentally offends Captain Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), the commander of the Cardinal's guards. He later offends the former Musketeers Athos, Prothos and Aramis and thus their paths converge.

As early as the opening sequence, I could already see this movie was going in a very bad direction. I respect Macfadyen as an actor - he was just brilliant in The Pillars of the Earth. But here he and the other Musketeers seemed like cardboard cutters of actual characters. And here Milla Jovovich pretty much just had to demonstrate the item on her resume that reads "can jump through stuff in slow motion" since that's what they kept making her do. Plus there was the whole raising of her hood bit as an attempt at some weird signature move that just came off as something strange and often hilarious.

Orlando BloomImage by Schneewante via FlickrA lot of folks were acting weird in this movie. Here Orlando Bloom wanted to convince the world that hanging around Johnny Depp over the course of the Pirates movies had rubbed off on him somehow. And that so wasn't the case. And of course we come to the young Logan Lerman who wasn't all that impressive in the Percy Jackson movie and he was somehow even worse here. It didn't make sense that his stunt coordinator was trying to make his fights as Hong Kong style in nature. And the every utterance coming out of his mouth was just...bad.

The dialog was bad. The humor was off. And most if not all the characters didn't make sense and were mere echoes of real people. I can't even call them caricatures since that would require some level of an emotional response from people. And the plot, oh man, now THAT was painful beyond words. The ridiculous back and forth and attempts at slightly steampunk espionage antics was just sad.

There's more to steampunk than throwing airships into an existing story. And Milla Jovovich needs to learn to act and actually have emotional range beyond her dead fish acting while she jumps, tumbles and jumps some more. The only really good actor here was Christoph Waltz and I wonder if he had any idea how this movie was going to turn out when he signed up for this project.

The Three Muskteers was a painful movie to watch - one that even seems to threaten the audience with the prospects of a sequel. So please, this does not deserve to become its own movie franchise. This movie barely scrapes by with 1 sad excuse for Musketeers trying to work like a team when most of the they time they just happen to be in the same location together.

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