Sometimes after watching a movie, an indescribable, bitter taste lingers. It is as if you cannot decide whether the movie was enjoyable or plain trash. Was the 3-D worth the effort? Were the characters and plot plausible? Did the actors emote lines or merely read them?
All these questions linger after enduring Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers. After giving it some thought, I arrived at a few answers. The movie was already aesthetically eye candy and the 3-D only added to their budget and subtracted from ours. The actors did what was asked. And a where this movie really failed was in the unrealistic story.
Based on Alexandre Dumas’s classic novel, the film introduces the out-of-job, but legendary, three musketeers as a young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”) are fixed on joining and working with them. Soon the musketeers, Athos (Matthew Macfadyen, “Pride and Prejudice”), Aramis (Luke Evans, “Clash of the Titans”) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson, “Thor”) discover and set out to stop the sinister plan of Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”) to obtain the crown of France. Along with D’Artagnan the musketeers face the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom, “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise), his air warships, and the deadly gorgeous Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich, “Resident Evil” franchise) as they try to stop a war on Europe.
The action scenes are well done and exciting, which stays true to the nature of the movie. But the story becomes problematic in the way the characters interact with each other. Asking for a realistic movie is impossible but when a movie fails to be plausible in its own invented universe, it throws the audience off. From the romance between D’Artagnan and Constance (newcomer Gabriella Wilde) to the sudden death of Milady, it all seems rushed and perfunctory. The characters are vague and underdeveloped, making it hard to sympathize and understand their actions.
If you must watch this movie, do so in 2-D. Enjoy the beautiful looking cast and even more beautiful costumes and settings. This movie makes a fashion junkie want to travel back to the 17th century, but for a movie fan, you will want to ask for your money back.