As a movie this is going over pretty much the same territory as the others. There have been several movie interpretations of Alexandre Dumas’s historical novel. Everyone has a favourite whether it is the 70’s version or the 90’s one. In this 2011 version the director has got certain members of the cast to look like the original 70’s ones. Rochefort (Madds Mikkleson) resembles a dashingly menacing Christopher Lee; Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) resembles a young Charlton Heston, while D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) looks like an uncanny Michael York.
If you are one of those who liked the original version, and thought it surpassed even the 90’s version, then you might be disappointed with this one, as it might take a lot more to have it come up to the standards of the original. The set design looks better, and the scope of the movie plus the CGI of the battle scenes far surpasses the technology of the 70’s, but there is very little humour in this one.
If you are 15 to 20 then you won’t even know about the 70’s version, and will watch this with open eyes as if it’s the first movie version you ever saw. If you liked the 70’s version and have an open mind, then you will appreciate the differences of modern movie making and take it for granted that it is an independent interpretation.
Set in 17th century France, young and cocky D’Artagnan sets about being a musketeer due to his father’s wishes, but as he travels through the depths of period France, he blunders his way into three other musketeers who have fallen out of favor with the hierarchy. He keeps annoying the other musketeers without knowing it, and arranges a time for each to have a duel with him. When he does appear for the first one, the other two turn up as well, and he ponders what he will have to do. He doesn’t have long, though, when he and the three of them are ambushed and have to fight their way out. The fact that D’Artagnan fights them off well enough proves he can fight better than they thought. This makes his blunder with the musketeers acceptable, rather than foolish.
The general plot of this movie is to have the evil Richelieu plot with Milady to steal the queen’s necklace and in doing so they plan to infer that King Louis XIIII’s wife is having an affair with the Duke of Buckingham. If this is the case, and the king believes it, he will have to have the cardinal take over his duties, and that’s exactly what he wants. The musketeers have to intervene once they hear of Milady’s plot with him, and get the jewels off her before the queen notices, and with a grand fete at the palace being arranged, the queen will be in big trouble if the jewels aren’t around her throat on the day. Funnily enough, Freddie Fox who plays the king bears a striking resemblance to Ben Barnes of Dorian Gray and Narnia fame. He bungles through the movie and is another one like Orlando who provides some humorous entertainment.
D’Artagnan in turn finds out more from them, and their plight, and it doesn’t take a genius to tell who the culprit is – the dastardly Cardinal Richelieu who wants to get rid of the musketeers for good so he can get a plan in place that’s cunning and deceptive. Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) is the woman all men are interested in who appears more out of her dress than in it at times, but who ducks and deceives all the way through the movie. She does a good job of it too, but she often breaks men’s hearts once they find out how deceptive she is. One can’t help but think that she is acting as though she is still in the Resident Evil movies due to the energetic fight scenes she manages to pull off as the character. Not to say that she doesn’t act well in this, on the contrary, Jovovich has a powerful magnetic presence as Milady, and manages to hold her own in fight scenes. There is no surprise Jovovich acts as she does though, as this movie is directed by Paul W S Anderson. It is as energetic and action packed as it can get with him at the helm.
For a change, Orlando Bloom plays the bad guy, The Duke of Buckingham, a man he has act a little more camp as it gives the movie an air of comedy it lacks. Buckingham is only in it for a few times but his presence is memorable. For those who have not looked into the movie as a reviewer would, Luke Evans who plays Aramis resembles Orlando so much that it seems Orlando is playing two roles, and it acts as an amusing distraction from the plot.
The romantic element in this is the attachment of Athos to Milady de Winter, and her other suitors as well. She is cruel and manipulative, yet she has the ability to have men falling all over her.
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