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What’s the Story?

Book:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris to join the King’s Musketeers. He meets the Three Musketeers, falls in love with a woman who is already married, forgets about her, travels to England to get back some diamonds that the Queen of France gave to the Duke of Buckingham, her secret lover, before the aging and wise King of France notices. Having done this, he forgets about his love and falls in love with Milady. Then there’s a war with England being fought for the affection of the queen between the warrior duke Cardinal Richleau and the Duke of Buckingham which ends when Milady has the Duke of Buckingham assassinated. Plot successful; cardinal still ruling church; Milady executed without trial by our band of heroes.

 

1993 Film:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris to join the King’s Musketeers like his father. He meets the Three Musketeers, discovers the Musketeers have been disbanded, falls in love with a woman, gets arrested, learns of a diabolical plot (Milady is to take a letter to the Duke of Buckingham to forge a truce with the cardinal to usurp the young king’s power), escapes the executioner’s block and travels to the edge of France and stops the treat, then they return to France and reunite all of the disbanded Musketeers to save the king’s life and defeat the evil cardinal. Plot foiled; cardinal punched into the water; Milady committed suicide.

 

2011 Film:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris and meets the Three Musketeers and falls in love with an unmarried woman. The King of France is a young ponce. His wife loves him, but they’re both too frigid to make the first move. The cardinal is the real power, manipulating the young king. The Duke of Buckingham arrives in Paris in a giant airship (a regular ship with a giant helium bladder above it) and is generally a prat. Milady steals the diamonds from the queen and takes them to England. d’Artagnon and co travel to England and break into the Tower of London and get them back, then fly their stolen airship back to France. Plot foiled; cardinal not implicated; Milady still at large.

 

What’s the Problem?

If you were expecting anything like the book, everything.

If you weren’t… not much. There’s some appalling dialogue and plotting, and I don’t feel that Logal Lerman (d’Artagnon) really had the chops to carry the part, but the Musketeers were good.

Yep. We're awesome.

This is a bit like that mid-nineties Chris O’Donnell Musketeers film: they’ve taken some basic ideas from the book, but left most of it behind. And if you approach it as a silly, over-the-top, steampunk adventure it’s pretty good. There’s some nice fights (like when the four of them take on thirty or more guards) and it just keeps getting bigger and sillier.

This is a SENSIBLE battle in this film.

 

The King

What the hell is that on your face? Is that... Are you trying to grow facial hair? Stop that.

is a ponce. Like, so much of a ponce that he’s insufferable.

Aargh! How? How can the hat somehow make your face even worse?

 

What’s the Solution?

King less poncy. Reduce him to 1993-levels (or preferably not ponce at all).

Ugh. Even zooming out doesn't help. Now I can just see his shoes.

Honestly, there have probably been more sombre adaptations of the story. This isn’t one. Doesn’t pretend to be. And I’m fine with that. This is a hypercolour extravaganza designed for kids. Turn your brain off, try to ignore Milla Jovovich’s mullet-skirt, and watch the fun.

I'd like to say there was a good reason she's posed like that. Some deep, important reason that's vital to the story. But I'm not a filthy filthy liar.

 

Worth Seeing?

I’d wait for DVD. As much as the scenes are probably better on the big screen, mere spectacle isn’t enough for me to recommend spending good money on this film. Go rent the 1993 film and then watch this one and laugh while cringing.

All for one and so on.

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