As I sat in the theater about to watch The Three Musketeers, I leaned over and said to Jackie (the Lytherus Comics guru and my good friend), “Does this really apply to our site?” I was worried that this was straight history with no fantasy, sci-fi, or horror. And though it isn’t totally one of these genres we cover here at Lytherus, the movie manages to mix historical France with action, adventure, and some futuristic science to make a fun Hollywood flick that will entertain the masses.
The movie opens with the three musketeers Porthos (Ray Stevenson), Athos (Matthew Macfadyen) and Aramis (Luke Evans) breaking into Da Vinci’s vault with Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich), Athos’s girlfriend. They are there to gather a particular diagram, which Milady promptly steals, joining the enemy, the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and breaking Athos’s heart.
The story jumps to a year later, where the musketeers are still technically the guard to the young, naive king, though the evil cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) is the one really running things, the evil one-eyed captain of his guard Richelu (Mads Mikkelsen) by his side . Teen farm boy D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), skilled with a blade thanks to his father (an ex-muskateer), heads off to Paris to join up with the other three, freedom and loyalty singing in his heart. He’s extremely hot headed and arrogant (and rightly so, if his swordsmanship gives him reason to be!) and immediately gets into trouble on the road and then in Paris. Of course this is just the beginning of the plot, as betrayals come to light and freedom and what is right and good is fought to be saved.
The cast is pretty well-known, even though they didn’t jump out at me at first (my sporadic whispered conversation went like this: “Hey, that’s Mr. Darcy! … And wait, that’s Percy Jackson! …Isn’t that the chick from Resident Evil? …And is that Orlando Bloom?”). And this fact is one of the best parts of the movie: all of the main characters whom I recognized eventually fooled me from the start with their acting. No typecasting here! I was especially wowed by Orlando Bloom. He made a most excellent villain, and everything from his voice, manner, and look spoke of a different man. He’s definitely come a long way from Legolas, and he earned some respect from me in this role.
The graphics were fantastic too. The main element that ties this movie to our site and makes it relevant is the science fiction/Steampunky style. Giant zeppelin-like warships were built from Da Vinci’s diagram, and the modern elements on it made for lovely cinematic eye feasts. That combined with the detailed costumes and ornate locations made The Three Musketeers visually stunning and saturated in beauty.
I think Milla Jovovich had one of the best roles, as a devious independent beauty who can kick butt and still keep her cleavage in her spectacular corseted dress. Though I would have loved to see her do some swordplay, as the guys dominated this and it was the strongest action in the movie. However, having said that, her non-traditional role was a nice break from the expected fencing and stabbing, and I was impressed with the things she got to do.
The ending fell short for me a bit. Like most blockbusters, the plot was somewhat predictable, and the ending was exactly what was expected. However, I wouldn’t say I was totally disappointed in it, as the swordsmanship and stunts made it fun to watch. Logan Lerman already had sword training from his Percy Jackson days, and it shows in this role, as he looks comfortable battling off dozens of men while still maintaining a cheeky attitude.
Don’t expect to be blown away with new revelations and unexpected secrets in The Three Musketeers. But, do expect to be highly entertained in typical Hollywood blockbuster style. Though nothing new seemed to present itself to me, I am glad I saw the movie. If fun period action films are something you’re interested in, you should definitely check it out.