Think The Three Musketeers and your mind immediately conjures up images of tall, dark, swashbuckling heroes fighting for the people of France. Imagine my disappointment when what I actually got was hideously artificial wigs, overdone costumes, and so much clutter in the backdrops that it somehow felt as if I was watching a teen flick with an action angle to it.
Starring Matthew McFayden as Athos, Luke Evans as Aramis, and Ray Stevenson as Porthos, this steampunk-inspired reimagining of the Dumas novel lacks imagination. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox), a teenager pushed to the throne after his father’s murder, cares only about whether his young wife likes him or not. While Louis is sovereign, power is in the hands of Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) who is plotting to take over the throne. Meanwhile, young d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) travels to Paris with hopes of becoming a musketeer, only to learn that they have been disbanded. Intrigues and plot twists abound in the story, as do swordfights, anti-climactic deaths, and anachronistic Mission: Impossible-style stunts. The backdrops are beautiful, the sets realistic, and the costumes will make you either giggle or swoon.
Milla Jovovich of the Resident Evil series plays the role of Milady De Winter, Athos’ lover. Her performance is convincing enough for the audience to understand that she may or may not have a heart. Orlando Bloom’s role, however, was like watching someone get their teeth pulled out. Perhaps it was the bright, poufy outfits, the hats only a self-confident woman could pull off, or the earring which made you go, “Huh? Seriously?!” but try as he did, this was simply not a role for him.
The musketeers were consistently insipid in their roles, apart from McFayden, who was spectacularly bad. He tried his best to appear broody, but it seems as if he has forgotten his broodiness on the sets of Pride and Prejudice. With his American accent and unwarranted cockiness, Lerman earns the title of the most irritating d’Artagnan to date.
Many of the shots remind you of scenes from other films and the soundtrack itself is strongly reminiscent of Pirates Of The Carribean and Sherlock Holmes. At times, you expect to see Jack Sparrow swinging on a rope from building to building. Two out of five for this mindless movie collage.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, November 6th, 2011.