“The Three Musketeers” debuted in theaters this past Friday, bringing in action film buffs and Musketeer novel fans alike to experience the latest version of this timeless classic. Whether this movie lived up to its legend is still up for debate. Though the trailer may have insinuated dramatic changes to the original plot, by introducing female characters, the film did, in fact, stay true to the original novel by Alexandre Dumas. Audiences were immediately introduced to the original three musketeers: Athos, Porthos and Aramis, a famous trio who fought valiantly to guard the king and the royal family, and a young man, D’Artagnan, played by Logan Lerman, who plans to join and fight with the musketeers. Audiences follow young D’Artagnan as he works with the Three Musketeers to stop the double agent, Milady de Winter and her boss and ally, the Duke of Buckingham, from overrunning the French throne, which would send them into war.
Rotten Tomatoes, an online site allowing film critics and audiences alike to vote on the latest films, awarded this movie a 27 percent from top national film critics and a notably higher, yet still upsettingly low score of 51 percent from its general audiences.
Movieinsider.com states that this film had an estimated production budget of $80 million, deeming it a big-budget film. Although, it could be said that their money went towards theatrical stunts and audience-wowing graphics, rather than quality script writing.
The cast included recognized actors such as Matthew Macfadyen, playing the leader of the Musketeers, Athos, and Orlando Bloom, playing the villain, the Duke of Buckingham.
In the past, Macfadyen has played roles such as Mr. Darcy from the 2005 version of “Pride and Prejudice,” in which his acting abilities were showcased well thanks to a brilliant script. However, “The Three Musketeers’” script limited the talent that many of the cast members have possessed in their earlier films. In a way, the script was fairly shallow in content and did not do the actors’ abilities justice but pulled them down to a lower level of acting skill.
Put simply, this film followed the generic comedy-action formula of today’s big budget Hollywood productions. It maintained the audience’s interest with cheesy humor and 3D action scenes. Unfortunately, without these movie fillers, this film would probably not be able to stand on its own.
Despite the less than thought-provoking and lacking script, audiences still may have something to enjoy. Viewers will be able to sit back and enjoy an action-packed film without putting much effort into the experience. The graphics alone are engaging; it is obvious that much of the budget was spent on this aspect of the film. The film is also offered in a 3D viewing experience, which could literally add a new dimension of entertainment to the movie. It is also visually and imaginatively appealing in the ornate costumes of characters such as Milady or the Duke and in the whimsical imagery of the setting.
In a word, “The Three Musketeers” was forgettable. Fun? Yes, but forgettable still.
By Rachel O’Kelley
Photo Courtesy of 220film.com