I just recently re-watched the Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell led theatrical version of The Three Musketeers produced by Disney back in 1993 and was immediately reminded of why I loved it so much.
Beyond being perfectly cast, it was flawless in its presentation of the classic tale of good vs. evil. Every aspect from the amazingly wicked Tim Curry as the malevolent Cardinal Richelieu personifying greed, dishonesty and treachery to the young and absolutely gorgeous Chris O’Donnell as D’Artagnan embodying all that was just, true and above all honorable was clearly established and at play. There were of course some shades of grey particularly in Rebecca De Mornay as Lady D’Winter, but even in her character an absolute right and an absolute wrong could be uncovered.
The action sequences were daring and exciting and most importantly the audience became immediately engaged in the story. We felt a true connection to all of the characters so rooting for them came naturally. Even after having seen the movie several times I am still unable to take my eyes off of the screen when it’s playing.
The latest version of this centuries old tale comes to us from director Paul W.S. Anderson but sadly it does not have anything in common with its predecessor other than the films’ title.
I don’t enjoy being overly harsh in my film critiques because I think it unnecessary, but I have to be honest when I say this movie was absolutely ridiculous and an insult to name and work of Alexndre Dumas.
I admit it’s a challenge to re-tell a story that has been seen so many times before and it’s particularly daunting when there is another film made within the last 20 years for us to compare it to that already captured the essence of the story and the characters so perfectly. But to me that says, “Don’t try to remake this again!”
Visually, thanks to CGI technology, this version is much more interesting and grander in scale than its previous incarnation but it’s also wholly unbelievable. A world has been created with flying sailing ships, intricate weaponry and characters that seem able to defy the basic laws of physics; particularly gravity. So even though everything ‘looked’ real you don’t for one second actually believe that it is.
A movie set in the 17th century should stay in the 17th century unless it’s a sci-fi or fantasy film. Is it cool to see a strange hybrid of a pirate ship and a Zeppelin flying around and blowing things up? Sure. But you can’t base an entire movie around that. And you can’t expect an audience to believe that these are real people set in a real time period. It’s insulting and also leads to 110 minutes of an audience painfully aware of the fact that they are watching a movie.
What’s more, everyone
and I mean everyone in this film was completely miscast. I have a lot of respect for a lot of them and I personally like most of them but no one was suited to or brought anything special to their roles in this disaster.
The overall tone of the film itself is overly comical; the music alone is enough to make you not take it seriously. It’s almost cartoonish reminding me more of a silly Tom & Jerry episode than an epic tale of brotherhood, honor and loyalty.
I was ready for this movie to be over about 15 minutes after it began and the sad part is that initially, I had high hopes for it. With a classic story and an iconic group of characters to play with, how could you go wrong? Apparently, the answer is quite easily and in many, many ways.
I know that most critics are trashing this one and usually when that happens you can count on good ‘ol Dan Deevy to be the one saying, “Hey, c’mon guys it wasn’t that bad!” Unfortunately, not this time. This one IS that bad.
Let’s all just try to forget that this ever happened, OK? Let’s look forward to seeing young Logan Lerman when he reprises a role that he was perfect for as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters… let’s remember back to Luke Evans as the Greek God Zeus in the amazing Immortals… let’s resurrect the image of Mads Mikkleson as the perfect creepy Bond villain from Casino Royale… let’s get excited to see the gorgeous and sexy Milla Jovovich in the next installment of the Resident Evil series… and most essentially of all, let’s try to remember back to a time when Orlando Bloom could play a role without immediately pissing off audiences for some unknown, ineffable reason.
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.