Friday, October 14, 2011
All for one and one for all!
Alexandre Dumas probably had no idea when he was writing The Three Musketeers that it would ever be adapted into a film like this. Granted he had no idea what film was in general but you get the idea. Many Musketeer films in the past have tried to emulate the book to a tee, or at the very least stay within a reasonable continuity that could do the book some justice. Paul W.S Anderson saw the book, flipped through a few pages to find a female badass character (it can't be an Anderson film without his wife Milla Jovovich now can it) and then tossed the book behind his shoulder and said "F**k it I'll make it up as I go." Or at least that seems what is most likely considering the new Three Musketeers movie is one of the most ludicrous, stupid, over the top, confusing films that I've seen in a long time and spits...no defecates on Alexandre Dumas' grave. And while there is a lot of negative things to say about the film, honestly I didn't hate it. In fact for all it's stupidity it was at least entertaining and tongue in cheek enough that I could somewhat respect what Anderson was going for here.
It's actually a fairly straightforward plot and besides Anderson's knack for putting in irritable cliffhangers at the end of all his movies now, the film pretty much resolves itself in its little over 100 minute run time. There isn't too many scenes of pointless dialogue and for the most part the action is always moving. Anderson knows how to make an action movie, even if the movie itself isn't all that great. The writing is littered with one liners that, while cheesy, contain some chuckles and for the most part the film doesn't take itself too seriously. In a lot of ways I look at this film as a satire or an action comedy rather than a straightforward action film. Characters chew the scenery, face palm moments happen once a scene, and I swear some pieces of the film are lifted from other films of its type.
The villains are a mixed bag of crazy ham but all have this over the top giddiness (at least Bloom and Waltz do) that makes them almost Bond villain esque in nature. Waltz definitely steals the show though with some great near fourth wall breaking moments ("Is this the part where I'm supposed to laugh maniacally and reveal some sort of evil plan to you?") and chews the scenery like its candy. Waltz can out-villain anyone it seems nowadays. Bloom, for the short time he's in the movie, does well but comes off more Ziggy Stardust meets 30s mustache twirling villain rather than actually evil. And Jovovich is Jovovich. Basically imagine Alice from Resident Evil but doing all her stunts in full collared Victorian garb. Silly, but impressive nevertheless.
It's nothing like the book, full of ham and cheese, over the top, stupid and features some meh acting, but overall Three Musketeers should be looked at as a comedy, or a guilty pleasure at least. It has plenty of action, everyone is having fun, Waltz is Waltzing the s**t out of his role, and it's so stupid it treads into awesome territory. If you go in with an open mind you might enjoy it, just don't expect an Academy Award winning film.
MY VERDICT: SEE IT