The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

(M) Sony DVD/BD

Every few years a director decides that a classic story needs a good mauling, although the polite term these days is “reboot” or “reimagining”.

Alexandre Dumas’ classic is one such film. There have been 28 films made, with four of them in the last decade. It is one of those stories so ubiquitous it has become a cinema cliché.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson, most famous for the Resident Evil franchise, decided he could bring a new twist to the story. Now if by “new twist” he meant “anvil-like dialogue”, “overblown set-pieces” and “acting that would put some English pantomimes to shame” — by golly I think he did it!

It is, however, so spectacularly bad as to be shamelessly entertaining in a similar way some enjoy rubber-necking car-wrecks.

This is primarily because of the talent involved. One does actually feel a little sorry for Orlando Bloom, who has come down so far as to play a comical moustache-twirling villain.

The plot can be summed up in a sentence: Hot-headed young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) joins forces with three veteran Musketeers (Matthew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans) to prevent the villainous Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.

Opulent set pieces, daft dialogue and mindless action and special effects — perhaps this is this year’s guiltiest pleasure.

Adrian Drayton

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