Dear director, Paul W. Anderson; writers, Alex Litvak and Andre Davies; actors Milla Jovovich (Milady De Winter); Christoph Waltz (Richelieu); Orlando Bloom (Duke of Buckingham); and everybody else who had any part in this monstrosity (yeah caterers, I’m talking to you!):
YOUR MOVIE SUCKS!!!
The movie was one big “clustercuss” (see The Fantastic Mr. Fox). Case in point, about 30 minutes into the movie my brother turns to me and asks, “Dude, is it me or is the sound kinda low?” It was, and honestly, I hadn’t noticed. I was too busy contemplating: a) the ridiculous use of musket-time (musket-time=bullet-time in historical action films—see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), b) the conversation that was both superfluous and banal, and c) the impossibility of Milla Jovovich’s acrobatics in her ridiculous costumes.
The story, which centers on the classic Dumas’ tale about a young man, D’Artagnan (eye-candy-for-those-with-baby-teeth actor, Logan Lerman) and three men of the musketeer guard: Aramis (Luke Evans), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Athos (Matthew Macfadyen). They square off against the dastardly Cardinal Richelieu, Duke of Buckingham, and Milady De Winter. In an effort to prevent almost certain war in Europe, these heroic figures must return a stolen piece of jewelry to the young Queen of France (Juno Temple). Simple right? Wrong!!
Mistake #1: filming for 3D. I hate 3D (see previous post). Accordingly, I decided to see the film in 2D. The shots that were supposed to be 3D were painfully, glaringly obvious: swords pointed at the screen, flying film and hovering location titles, and swooping shots past nondescript European monuments. If the shots fit well into the movie, fine; these shots were non-sequiturs like, “Look Ma, I’m flying!” gimmicks.
Come on Paul, I thoroughly enjoyed both Mortal Kombat (1995) and Resident Evil (2002). You have a flare for pulpy action films. However, the only action in this film came from the characters mouths, which never stopped moving, and Milla Jovovich’s eyes, which I’m sure she exhausted with her long, lingering looks.
Now Christoph (fantastic German actor made mainstream by your brilliant turn as Landa in Inglorious Basterds). You are above these bit roles (see “Bloodnofsky” in The Green Hornet). I’m reminded of Chris Rock’s speech at the 2008 Oscars and just want to pass this little nugget along. If you can’t get Quentin Tarantino to write for you…Wait. If you read a script that calls for you to say such profound things as, “I’m playing chess by myself because everyone else was too easy to beat”…pass on it, and then…Wait.
Orlando, your turn as Buckingham was so effortless in its lack of craft and affectation that I am forced to assume that your body has been taken over by an even worse actor than that which originally occupied said space.
Finally, the writers; may God have mercy on you for inflicting unsuspecting film-goers with your reckless and vapid use of the English language.
Now, for the fun part: alternatives. Here’s what you should watch instead of the Three Musketeers.
- A white wall. That’s right, focus on any wall in your house and I can guarantee it will off you more amusement than this film.
- The Three Musketeers (1948)-Gene Kelly as D’Artagnan and Lana Turner as Milady De Winter? Check and mate.
- The Three Musketeers (1993)- Ok, I haven’t seen this one (gonna rent it this weekend) but director Steven Harek (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, and Mr. Holland’s Opus) casts Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell and Oliver Platt as musketeers. Even if they just sit around reading the script in an empty room, it would be better than the latest reincarnation.
- King Arthur (2004)-Clive Owen’s turn as the legendary knight, turned King of England has more gravity and better action scenes.