The Three Musketeers (2011)

Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich
The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.
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It plays admirably fast and loose with Alexandre Dumas' classic tale, but in every other respect, The Three Musketeers offers nothing to recommend -- or to set it apart from the many other film adaptations.
  • Summit Entertainment Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 21 Oct 2011 Released:
  • 13 Mar 2012 DVD Release:
  • $20.4M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

A story spoiled by the blind pursuit of visual effects. Do not encourage the makers of this movie by going to see it.5/10
I feel a little sorry to be so critical of this movie, because I thought some of the performances were fine, especially Matthew McFadyen and Ray Stevenson. Alas, Logan Lerman and Milla Jovovich were rather unconvincing in their roles, sucking to varying degrees. While one or two of the 3D scenes worked very well, notably the duel on the top of Notre Dame, the 3D was at its most effective for the credits and some of the other on-screen text. While it did add to the movie, it did not add quite enough to compensate for the other downsides. In the end, the irony is that the movie used 3D technology to depict two dimensional characters.

Perhaps the best parts of the movie were the opening prologue and the early scenes in Paris; thereafter it was all downhill, with the hill getting steeper as the movie progressed. It was apparent that the scriptwriters had either read the book or seen some earlier Musketeer movies, but equally apparent that they had either not understood the story or had decided they knew better than Dumas. Making Buckingham the villain was very ill-judged, and they should have made better use of the Cardinal (and Waltz). Most of this I could have lived with, but what brought the whole edifice crashing down was the nonsensical video-game sequences, featuring ridiculous flying ships that flouted most of the laws of physics (Newtonian and Einsteinian). I think these annoyed me more than the horrendous CGI in the last Indiana Jones movie.

The really frustrating thing is that this could have been an entertaining film; it looked great and had a sound cast. It seemed to me that the director may either have been influenced by childhood over-exposure to the Teletubbies, or that the need to make use of 3D forced the story in a truly stupid direction. I suspect the latter is closer to the truth, and this is what killed 3D last time, i.e. letting the technology drive the script in increasingly bizarre directions.

It would be easier to forgive some of the movie's faults were its crime not so great, i.e. trashing one of the all-time classic adventure stories!
"Nuking the fridge" is harmless in comparison to what this film does2/10
First of all I ought to note that I did not expect much of this film - and yet was left completely underwhelmed.

There are some major issues regarding this film which I would like to address, they are the reason for my extraordinarily low ranking, which would have been even lower if I had not thought it disrespectful to those actors who did their job very well (against all odds).

One may argue that screen adaptations require some changes to be made to the original material, and I wholeheartedly agree, but the changes made to this particular adaption are so fundamental they might as well not have bothered to call it „The Three Musketeers". There is as good as nothing left of the original plot in this movie, and what is left of it is changed beyond recognition. I did expect it to be more action laden than ultimately necessary, I expected it to deviate from the original plot, but nothing could possibly have prepared me for this shipwreck of a film.

One might think that while a film shouldn't be required to follow the book's plot word by word to qualify for bearing the title of a famous novel - one should be able to tell it is supposed to be based on said novel, right? Apparently not. Apart from the title and the the names of the characters, there is but little that would betray it to be even roughly based on Dumas' novel. Buckingham is turned from lover to evil Lord, and Queen Anne into a blameless little lamb who fell prey to the Cardinal's machinations. No such thing as the fleur-de-lis is even mentioned. Constance doesn't only not die, she isn't even threatened by Milady. And that's just a selection.

One might be led to think it was deliberately conceived as a parody of remakes. After all, it has all the ingredients – a butchered plot, characters with any debt taken out of them (despite the fact that if given the chance, most actors would have delivered an outstanding performance, but the time usually assigned to character development is devoured by „sexy" scenes featuring Milla Jovovich – who herself is a whole other problem), references to everything from the Matrix to Mission Impossible, goodness – it even has airships.

Airships. Not one, not two, but an entire armada of airships. I understand that Rocheford's eye patch is tempting, but they might as well have put a parrot on his shoulder, it would not have managed to make it appear any more ridiculous. I was surprised they did not venture to release an air Kraken.

If this film had had less Milla Jovovich, no airships and if anyone had bothered to actually read "The Three Musketeers" beforehand, it might have been decent - and had they fixed some minor problems (like the annoyingly clean costumes and settings), it may even have been great. It certainly had the potential. It's a pity it nuked the fridge... or should I say - flew the airship?
Really?1/10
I actually expected this movie to be bad based on the previews, and after the first 5 minutes, which were kind of entertaining, I thought "maybe this won't be so bad". But every attempt at humor is completely dry, and the story is told in the worst way possible. Aside from the opening scene, everything added to the story in an attempt to make it different from the standard Three Musketeer plot is completely lame. And even Orlando Bloom acted like a rookie! I don't know how on earth this managed to get financed. If you want some real entertainment, watch the 1993 version, in which Tim Curry is the best evil Cardinal ever!
There is stupid logic, no logic and then there is...4/10
The three musketeers, and by god am I disappointed. I mean don't get me wrong I excepted a simple story with typical elements, nice fight scenes and a great cast that can act great. Except for the actually really cool looking fights I didn't get anything, the cast is great but the dialogs and script are so horrible even Christoph Waltz couldn't save them. The story is all over the place, you don't get to know any of the musketeers, or barely a character at all and the biggest problem: A movie doesn't have to be realistic for me but it has to make sense in his own universe of the movie (like Matrix its not realistic but logical). The three musketeers plays with the rules of physics, logic and sense of a human being like they were beanbags. Oh and surprise surprise: 3D is useless, but thats nothing new tell me a movie that really had to have 3D except for avatar or maybe tron.

Movie with a simple plot fine , one that makes no sense at all, you better don't count on my vote.

So if you can enjoy a pointless excuse of a story for some nice swordplay, have fun.
Good entertainment, but would have been better without anachronisms3/10
Before I start writing down my impressions of this movie, I have to say that "The Three Musketeers" is one of my all-time favourite books. When I heard that a new Three Musketeers film was going to be released, I was really excited - all the more when I saw pictures of the beautiful locations in Bavaria and read that Christoph Waltz ("Inglorious Basterds") would play my favourite character Richelieu. When I saw the trailer though, I was shocked: Matrix style bullet evasion? A Ninja diver? And... zeppelin air ships? WTF? I was sure Dumas was rotating in his grave over this mutilation done to his work! Really... I don't think a brilliant story like The Three Musketeers needs air ships in order to be exciting.

Despite my frustration about the trailer, I decided to go to the cinema and I have to say, it was certainly not a total waste of time and money. First of all, the costumes and locations were extremely enjoyable. I watched the movie in 2D, but viewers will surely appreciate the 3D version. There are some nice effects like a bird's view onto a painted map of France.

Most of the actors also did a great job, especially Christoph Waltz. He was amazing, just like I had always imagined Richelieu: this cool composure he has when something is not going according to his plans, but you can see how his brilliant brain is working on something new already. I also liked his interaction with the Louis XIII. The King was portrayed in a very exaggerated manner (clueless about politics, only interested in fashion and very childish), but this ironic exaggeration of his character created a lot of fun. Orlando Bloom was also great as Buckingham. You could see how he was enjoying himself in the role of the classy, spoiled and evil British ambassador. Logan Lerman as d'Artagnan surprised me positively. I thought he was just another boyish actor teenage girls will fall in love with. But he made a really good d'Artagnan and was able to show off his fencing abilities. Apparently all the fencing choreographies were done without the help of ropes or stuntmen - Respect! The final duel between Rochefort and d'Artagnan on the roof of Notre Dame was epic. It's a pity there wasn't more sword fighting instead of zeppelins. The actors of Athos, Porthos and Aramis also did a pretty good job, but had too little screen time and thus ended up as flat characters with only one trait of character each (Athos = the disillusioned drunkard, who has lost his love, Porthos = the vain daredevil, Aramis = the religious ladies' man). The musketeers as the title heroes really should be at the centre of the plot, but in this movie Milady and Buckingham got much more attention.

Too much attention in the case of Milady. First of all, Milla Jovovich is not a good actress. Neither is she especially sexy, as the movie constantly tries to suggest. But I guess these factors don't play much of a role if you are married to the director... Secondly, I've always hated all these historical novels or films where "emancipated" women do stuff they just wouldn't have done in the century the plot is set in. And no, I'm pretty sure a woman of the 17th century would not have stripped on the roof of the palace and bungee jumped down. And no, she would not be able to win a sword fight against several Cardinal's Guards. And no group of three 17th century soldiers would have allowed a woman (in a huge gown not made for running) to draw the gunfire onto herself, so that they can go safe after she has activated the trap… There were more anachronisms like that, the most obvious one being the air ships, but I won't even start ranting about them. The second most annoying anachronism was the portrayal of Rochefort: At the beginning, d'Artagnan challenges him to a duel, but Rochefort just shoots him before he can draw his sword. Outrageous for a 17th century nobleman! If there is one important ingredient you mustn't forget in a cloak-and-sword-film, it's the code of honour: you fight your enemy, but you're always noble and fair. The movie almost completely lacked this element. Also, why the heck does a Musketeer movie need a "Mission Impossible" scene with Milady climbing though a network of invisible wires? And why can d'Artagnan, after just one audience, stroll through the palace gardens with the King? Why does Buckingham accuse the King of wearing "retro style"? – Even the soundtrack was anachronistic sometimes, when it suddenly changed from classical Hans-Zimmer-style to Pulp-Fiction-style – very irritating!

But the anachronisms are not the only logical flaws in the movie: How did the French build an air ship in one week? (How do they fly and how are they steered anyway?) Why would a royal ship use a skeleton as a figurehead? (Answer: so that you get the Pirates of the Caribbean style) Why do the musketeers first try to get into the tower vault in order to get the diamonds, but then Athos suddenly knows that the diamonds won't be there anyway, but with Milady? How does Milady survive a fall of like 100 metres?

Well, perhaps you should just switch off the logical part of your brain, when you go to see this movie! All in all, I had great fun watching it together with some friends. In the end it was better than I feared after seeing the trailers, but the sad thing is: it was worse than it could have been! All the ingredients for a great historical movie were there: excellent actors, beautiful locations and one of the best novels ever written as the basis! However, they just messed around too much with that great novel. You just can't improve a perfect story (not even with air ships), you can only make it worse.