Luke Evans

Luke Evans

Aisle Seat: New Musketeers have female foe

Movie reviewer Jason Armstrong gives The Three Musketeers two-and-a-half stars out of five.

  • Oct. 28, 2011 9:00 a.m.

I wonder what Alexandre Dumas would think if he knew his benchmark tale was being used as cinematic junk food.

Not that the latest adaptation of The Three Musketeers is horrible. It’s fun, I suppose. But I can’t recall (and trust me, there have been enough versions of these dudes and their puffy shirt adventures that I can recall quite a few) the story ever being drenched in such lightweight swashbuckling shenanigans.

I’ll give credit to director Paul W.S. Anderson for trying to keep the proceedings light so families can enjoy the flick, but, in the same motion, duty forces me to toss a small tomato in his direction for sheer silliness.

The Musketeering quad of Matthew MacFadyen (Athos), Ray Stevenson (Porthos), Luke Evans (Aramis) and Luke Lerman (D’Artagnan) is a likeable bunch. They banter and, occasionally (and unfortunately, not often enough), they do battle. Unfortunately, they’re shoved to the side by the female villain, Milla Jovovich (Milady de Winter), a.k.a. Mrs. Anderson.

Being the director’s spouse might explain why Jovovich gets so much screen time, but I wish someone would explain her character’s motive, because half the time I have no idea what she’s up to, save for double crossing everyone in her path for no apparent reason.

She is gorgeous, mind you. And, while we’re on the subject, might I say that The Three Musketeers is a pretty darn attractive visual creation. In fact, if looks were everything, you’d have one of the better films of fall here.

Centered primarily on D’Artagnan’s quest to become a full time Musketeer and dabbled with appearances by Christoph Waltz (the cunning Richelieu) and Orlando Bloom (the Duke of Buckingham), both baddies, it’s close to impossible to dislike this stuff. But if you’re going to do the umpteenth remake, is it too much to ask to bring something new to the table?

The Three Musketeers is a very safe sit for all ages, but I can’t say it will be an overly memorable one.

The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Jason Armstrong is The Morning Star’s longtime movie reviewer.