Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 8, 2012

‘Three Musketeers’ latest in action comedy retread

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Explosions and bullets may make for classic action movie recipes, but a good battle properly choreographed is just as well won visually by the sword. I still remember fondly flicks along the lines of “Princess Bride” or even reruns of the old “Zorro” TV show where I could imagine myself fencing with the best of them, thus why I even began to consider a story so retold as this.

Of course, getting to see a steampunk type floating ship of the 17th century in the previews looked pretty sweet as well and all with quite a bit of the original story intact. Yes, the liberties taken will at times make the story rather foreign to hard core fans and the one association I kept seeing was a style somewhat similar the more recent “Sherlock Holmes” franchise. “The Three Musketeers” turns out to be something I’m glad I waited for DVD to watch, but at least attempts to be an entertaining reboot.

The story kicks off with our well known trio, Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans) working with Milady De Winter (Milla Jovovich) in a “Oceans 11” type scheme to steal blueprints for a famous Leonardo Da Vinci war weapon for the French. Their female counterpart turns out to be a double agent for England and betrays them to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom), thus ending the Musketeer tradition.

Cue some time later where a corrupt Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) is attempting to secretly run the show under the nose of King Louie XIII (Freddie Fox) and doing quite well until young and inspired D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) starts unintentionally unraveling everything. It is this meddling kid who is the only chance for the good to rise to defend the wronged and like a corny early sitcom, it all somehow works together no matter the character cliché. Except for the very well done sword play between the good and bad, it’s often hard to determine when if ever the actual period is being paid attention to with often more modern references attempting to appeal to all.

In any case, if you just want something to entertain the kids with in order to prevent destruction of the house for a little under two hours, this is certainly in that category. I’m not inspired to make it a repeat viewing with an almost “Saved By the Bell” high school mentality going on, but maybe a potential sequel won’t sink too much lower.

I will admit the Cardinal was perhaps the most interesting character, even if I expected him to twirl his mustache, invent mass rail transit and tie a lady in distress before an oncoming train. In any case, not to bad, but again average fun. This earns “The Three Musketeers” a final verdict of two and a half out of five baguettes.

DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.