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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 November 2015
With complete disregard for history, source material and the furthest stretches of believability in terms of the possibilities within the film's setting, this punchy, colorful, visual feast of a film had me forget all of its flaws as it sailed by like some unexpected over-inflated elaborate camp balloon on its way to a ridiculously lavish and over-the-top party. Yes, it was largely pointless, almost entirely predictable, always over the top and wildly unbelievable, but it somehow worked.

Visually it's a very nice film with some beautiful sets, fantastic costumes and fast paced action with good attention to detail and some quirky and interesting creative direction. Like a slightly surreal and grown up pantomime. There's a nice mix of action, comedy and silly romance all played out to the best that anyone could probably manage in this type of film but I think Milla Jovovich did a great job on a slightly new take of Milady de Winter and the young Logan Lehrman gave a good performance as a stupid, spunky, cocky D'Artagnan who gets it all wrong but comes good in the end. Christoph Waltz was easy to despise as the main villain but the Muskateers themselves felt like filler a lot of the time and even Luke Evans didn't really bring much to the table. For what it is though, it's a fun, stupid movie that you can switch off to and take in the visuals while you enjoy the ride without too much bother or too many questions.
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The `other' Paul Anderson's 3D version of The Three Musketeers - thankfully not retitled The 3D Musketeers - isn't quite the war crime of repute even if it does rework the material to within an inch of its life. Since there have already been umpteen more faithful adaptations, that's not necessarily a fatal flaw, and while it may turn Milla Jovovich's Milady into a Lara Croftish bungee jumping superspy in a 17th Century Mission: Impossible, at least it doesn't turn her into a ninja possessed by the Devil like the 2005 French version with Emmanuelle Beart...

In his favor, Anderson has a good visual sense that makes the most of his excellently chosen lavish and colourful German locations that look more French than France, his camera embracing the spectacle and constantly moving and prowling past obstacles and extras to make the most of the stereoscopic opportunities in a way that still works rather well in 2D. On the debit side, he can't get much of a performance out of anyone, with Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson and a sulky Matthew McFadyen doing an Alan Rickman impersonation lacking chemistry and seeming to all be acting in a different film to each other as Aramis, Porthos and Athos, James Corden's Planchet just dead weight and a waste of perfectly good oxygen while Logan Lehrman channels a pre-pubescent Tony Curtis without the depth to such an uncanny degree as a particularly underwhelming D'Artagnan that you almost expect him to say "Yonda lies da shatto od my fadda" if you thought he knew what a chateau was. Even Christoph Waltz is clearly bored out of his mind as Cardinal Richlieu as he "Yups" his way through scenes like he can't wait to go home but knows he's stuck here for another seven hours at least, and that's if they don't go into overtime. Orlando Bloom's lounge lizard Buckingham at least seems to be enjoying himself and Freddie Fox makes the most of his immature king but only a sorely underused Mads Mikkelsen really delivers the goods as the villainous Rochefort, getting the best swordfight on the roof of Notre Dame.

It doesn't help that the Musketeers seem strangely sidelined after their introduction, never really getting a chance to bond with each other or the audience and pretty literally standing on the sidelines while the court intrigue and plotting goes on centrestage. We don't even get an "All for one and one for all" until the end of the film. The plot is only the barest clothesline of the Queen's Diamonds section of the first half of the novel, reworked to accommodate airship battles (thankfully they have a pleasingly galleon-like design) and give the swaggering Buckingham a much larger part to play. The script is a mixture of the okay and the terrible, with some especially weak dialogue borrowed and bowlderised from better films, but the action scenes are more than decently handled with none of the MTV editing or orange and teal shakeycam antics of so many modern action films - you can actually tell what's going on and, if the swordfights have more energy than imagination, they're not the pitifully inept attempts at swordplay that let down Peter Hyams' The Musketeer. It's by no means a great film, but there are plenty of worse versions of the story and as a brain-off timewaster it passes muster even if the sequel-bait epilogue is just silly. And it's much better than Richard Lester's The Return of the Musketeers.

Whereas the US Region A-locked Bluray has an interactive featurettes running through the film, the UK release has to make do with 12 deleted scenes, director.s comemntary and four featurettes (also to be found on the US edition).
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on 22 April 2014
A messy and overly camp film that never asks its audience to invest in the characters, The Three Musketeers is firmly relegated to enjoyable Sunday afternoon pap.

Liberally swiping away any realism or historical accuracy this is not for anyone looking for a faithful adaptation of a classic novel. This steam punk reimagining involves some bombastic action and humongous airships!

To be fair the action is good fun and the settings are pretty, but that's your lot. There really is nothing more going on here. A cast list full to the brim of well-known faces does leave you wondering what contractual obligations led them to agreeing to this, but hey, they at least appear to be having some fun.

Laughable, camp and verging on the so bad its good ethos, The Three Musketeers is rather harmless fun.
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on 8 February 2015
I am editing my original review. I called this "One of the worst movies I've ever seen, that is for as much as I could endure to watch it which was about 15 minutes which included flipping further on to see if it got better than absolutely DIRE." Then I said I was throwing it away. But in fact, it still hadn't reached the 2nd hand shop yesterday and I decided to try it again..... Very glad I did. Changed rating from 1 star awful to 4 stars pretty good.

I had been very upset by the casting of d'Artagnan (I still think he's very badly miscast - IMO it's bad for an actor and his reputation if he is badly miscast, and he does try....) and I thought McFaddyen was utterly awful - usually I like him so much and had bought the DVD thinking he was playing Aramis, my favourite musketeer, only to find he wasn't.

But later, I had second thoughts. Problem was clearly that I'd bought this one too soon, when I was in the mood for a standard version of the book and not some kind of mediaeval wild fantasy. But relax and take it as it comes........ it's fun

Watching again, I let myself enjoy the lunatic start, and watched the characters properly. Very glad now that McFaddyen is not my beloved Aramis, as I much prefer the performance and looks of the actor who is! It's a big shame about the miscasting of d'Artagnan - actor does his best, but he's totally wrong for the party of tricksy, feisty, and often headstrong d'Artagnan. I was also at first put off by the casting of my 2nd favourite musketeer, Porthos, but now think he's excellent!

So I now recommend this movie but just remember.... it is not anything like the standard musketeer story! Be ready
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The movie opens with a brief historical background. Europe is in turmoil and only three French superheroes can save it!

As the main characters are introduced we get a quick feel for the movie that it will be light, humorous, Indian Jones adventurous, with our heroes emulating superheroes as they enter the secret vault of Da Vinci to steal his invention plan for the "war machine" which looks like an airship. Heart throb Olando Bloom who would have made the idea Aramis, plays a bad guy, The Duke of Buckingham. Aramis is instead played by Luke Evans. Milla Jovovich, stars as Milady de Winter the double agent, the love of Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) and Orlando Bloom. Ray Stevenson is a delightful Porthos which we don't get to see enough on the screen. D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) enters town looking for adventure on his odd looking horse named "Buttercup" which is not very manly, even in France.

D'Artagnan wants to join up with the trio, which due to budget cuts and the control of the evil Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) has been dissolved. Through various circumstances they are joined together and have a new quest. Milla plays a woman who is skilled with the sword. Her slo-mo moves which she perfected in Resident Evil combat are used in this film. Likewise the foursome fight overwhelming odds.

Gabriella Wilde, plays Constance, a lady in waiting who has the heart of D'Artagnan. She delivers to them their impossible quest, one with little chance of success, having to fight and elude armies in two countries. A negative aspect of the film is the anachronistic warship which gave the movie an uncomfortable "Wild Wild West" feeling, perhaps for the teen appeal. RPG type fighting. Don't look for too much Dumas in this film.

Great movie for the big screen. Good dialogue.

No F-bombs, nudity, or sex. Appears to be kid safe.
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on 18 July 2012
The Three Musketeers has been out of copyright for a long time now. So long in fact that we have seen dogs playing the main characters (and I'm not talking about the Kiefer Sutherland version of the film). No matter how far `Dogtanion' stretched the source material, that 80s cartoon was a perfect book to screen adaptation when compared to `Resident Evil' director Paul W S Anderson's take on it. This is a France dominated by politics, but also steampunk. Why have fights from horseback, when you can have fights atop giant flying ships?

With such bizarre imagery as a floating navy and bizarre casting such as Orlando Bloom as the villainous Duke of Buckingham, `The Three Musketeers' is not to be taken seriously at all. With this in mind it actually becomes one of Anderson's better films, but when this list includes the increasingly awful `Resident Evil' films, this is faint praise indeed. The likes of Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort and Ray Stevenson as Porthos do a decent job in making the film fun, balancing the right level of campness with a smidge of historically accuracy. The film is stolen from under the noses of the better known cast by Freddie Fox as Louis XIII, his amusing take on Royalty adds much needed laughs to the film and highlights the blandness of Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan.

The move from 3D to BluRay, has been slightly unkind to the film. Anderson obviously invested a great deal in making the 3D stand out, now it all looks a little awkward in 2D as objects poke at the screen for no reason. With lots of swashbuckling and gun powder, `Musketeers' is a daft yet fun film. It moves all over the place and the story is little more than an excuse to set up a load of set pieces. Whilst it was on the time flew by, but it was also instantly forgettable.

The HD transfer is a good one and the film does pop. Unfortunately, the BluRay also highlights some of the awkward former 3D moments. There are some extras on the disc, but they are mostly bland behind the scenes featurettes that can be ignored.
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on 26 November 2011
As the other reviews for this film will suggest, it's best to watch this film expecting a swashbuckling adventure which gleefully dispatches with historical accuracy - if you're wanting an adaptation which is true to the historical period in which the Dumas novel was set, you'll only be annoyed by this film (I can't remember D'Artagnan being Californian in the book...).

Instead, think of this film as a cover version of the Dumas story by Jules Verne fans cranked up on sugar, which replaces horses and carriages with airships. The expected armoury of swords are accompanied by the King Louis XIII era's version of machine guns. If something can be blown-up, it will be. If a device can be given a steam-punk or, indeed, clock-punk makeover, the production design department will be all over it.

The performances are mostly fine - though Matthew Macfadyen is an excellent stand-out as the cynical Athos - and most of the actors seem to have been given free reign to have fun with their characters. Orlando Bloom, as the Duke of Buckingham is channelling Ziggy-era Bowie and wearing Lady Gaga's dancers cast-off wardrobe to marvellous effect.

I suspect that nobody in the cast was under the impression that they were in an Oscar-bait film and have calibrated performances accordingly, nobody more so than the charmingly villainous anti-hero of the piece, Cardinal Richelieu, embodied by Christoph Waltz as part-venerated religious leader, part-Snidely Whiplash schemer, leading a merry dance around his foppish royal charges with a smoothly venomous look in one eye and a manner which recalls the affronted surprise of a career politician caught with his fingers in the biscuit barrel.

The action set-pieces are lavishly mounted and conceived presumably to be at their most effective when presented in 3D - I saw this theatrically in the format and can only imagine that in 2D you will be wondering why every sword fight has to find a moment for a stray blade to jab out at the audience and why every explosion is intended to make you literally duck in your seat as thousands of wooden splinters make a bee-line for your eyes.

Your enjoyment of this movie (and it is certainly a movie rather than a serious artistic statement rendered in celluloid) may pall if you're unconvinced by the current obsession with making every film a 3D spectacular. If you view this film instead as a cheeky, B-movie crowd-pleaser which has no pretensions towards being anything other than a breathless, knowingly absurd adventure, you'll have a great time with it.
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This is a silly version of a classic (Flying machines and the like.) The cast clearly ham it up and make no attempt to take the film or themselves seriously and the result is a likeable romp that will never win awards or a big box office.
The best thing for me is that it is excellent 3-D and if you love watching in 3-D then this is well worth the price.
Okay but not a classic of a classic.
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on 29 February 2012
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this 21st century take on the Musketeer saga. The main focus thankfully is action rather than character development and you can feel the input of Andrew Davies on what is a comedy script. No-one takes much of it very seriously, with the action and special effects, which are excellent, driving the film on quickly, with plenty of surprises. I especially liked Ray Stevenson as the heavy musketeer and Mads Mikkelson reprising his role from Casino Royale as the baddie. In fact all of the male leads were excellent. The main female leads by contrast were much more restrained and really could have hammed it up a little more. Milla Jovovich (She who was The Fifth Element) in particular could have made a lot more of her chief female baddie part and the casting of the other main actresses was a little flawed I think. But all in all, a highly entertaining movie and certainly recommended.
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on 19 July 2014
Orlando bloom is cracking but other than that, it's pretty bad. If you want a rather cliche action packed film then this is your baby! There some pretty annoying things like them all having squeaky clean clothes throughout the whole film and the main dude has got an american accent what's going on there, they're meant to be french right! Okay fair doo's it's pretty far fetched them having English accents but come on! So yeah if you can ignore all of that plus some other major floors (LIKE THE SCRIPTt) then this is probably an excellent film worthy of an Oscar.....naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!
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