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All for One, and Cheese for All [Film Only]
The Three Musketeers (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray)
Member Name: tinkerbell18
The Three Musketeers (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray)
Advantages: Watchable, suitable for the family, comedy
Disadvantages: Macfadyen could have done better!
Last weekend (although it seems much longer ago), I went to visit my big sister to begin the mammoth task of Christmas shopping. As per our non-official tradition, we ended up picking up a relatively cheap movie to watch on Saturday night. So our film ended up being The Three Musketeers (2011 version), a bargain £5 from Asda. Being a fan of the 1993 version, I was dubious whether I'd find this enjoyable or not, but we decided it was worth a shot and took it home. As we said, you can't go too wrong for a fiver - can you?
The film starts out in Venice, around the beginning of the 17th century. Here we meet the dashing musketeers - Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans) working together with the rather attractive Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich). The four are on a daring mission, and seem to be successful - until they are betrayed and the treasure is handed over to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). Cut to Paris, where the Musketeers are disbanded by Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz), the slightly suspicious advisor of the young King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox). Almost content to live their lives in a slightly drunken stupor cared for by their manservant Planchet (James Corden). But along comes D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), a young boy from the country who manages to get on the wrong side of not only the Musketeers, but Richlieu's henchman, Captain Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen). A swordfight later, and a lady in waiting to impress (Gabriella Wilde), D'Artagnan and the Musketeers set out to uncover and thwart a plot that threatens Queen Anne (Juno Temple) and the safety of France - and perhaps even mess up the Duke of Buckingham's hairdo!
The cast is rather a mix of characters - and as usual I haven't heard of some! As soon as I realised Milla Jovovich was in it, I knew her character wouldn't exactly take a backseat - and she didn't. It was quite cool to have a Milady de Winter who could pull some serious moves, even in the fantastic outfits she was placed in. I was slightly dubious about Orlando Bloom as a bad guy, just because he seems to have fallen into the 'pretty boy' niche quite nicely. Even though he was still a pretty boy, he managed to pull of the character quite well - especially as there was a slight flamboyant element to the character which could easily have been overplayed. I was a little disappointed with Matthew Macfadyen as Athos, as although he was supposed to be down in the dumps; his portrayal just seemed very flat all the time - even with some cracking one-liners. Luckily, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans managed to counteract this quite nicely, and bring a bit of spark into the Three Musketeers. I think the casting worked quite well (other than Athos), and the writer's and actor's generally managed to put a new spin on some well-known characters. Louis' bumbling attempts to show affection to Anne was rather heart-warming; and even D'Artagnan wasn't as annoying as Chris O'Donnell's portrayal in 1993 (which, trust me, was a relief!).
The Three Musketeers is based on the novel written by Alexandre Dumas. Now I have never really read this book, so I can't compare the film to it, but I know it is part of a series - including the Four Musketeers and the Man in the Iron Mask. The basic plot of the two films is relatively similar - the evil cardinal carries out a plot to overthrow the King, which the Musketeers, forever loyal, try desperately to thwart. However, I have now seen both films and there is a glaring difference between the two, involving an air ship (and that's all I shall say on the matter). This has made me add the book to my list of books I want to get around to one day - just to actually work out which is closer to the novel (I'm actually hoping the airships happened, as these are a rather fun addition to the story).
This offering of the Three Musketeers is a British movie (as you may have been able to tell from some of the line-up). I know it got some bad reviews at the time, but it isn't all that bad. Yes, there are some cheesy lines, and perhaps not enough sword fights, but it is a rather light-hearted watch. I would even say that the cheese was an element of what made the film so good - it makes a potentially dark film a bit of good-natured fun. The lack of swordfights does make it a little more suitable for younger viewers (although the original was PG and this is a 12 I think) - I personally find this one a little less gruesome, and a little more exploding! Overall, I find this offering a bit of fun that is perfect for light-hearted family viewing on a Saturday night (or whenever you prefer to view your movies). All I would say is expect a little bit of cheese, and a good dosing of fun!
Summary: A light-hearted heroic tale that will have you laughing by the end
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