Bastardized Three Musketeers

I caught most of the 2011 Three Musketeers on TV the other evening.  OMG!  Wow.  Why did someone think this was a good idea?  I kept watching for the same reason humans watch train wrecks.  I’m not one of those people who demands strict fidelity to a book.  I know changes have to be made, and I’m happy to make them, but this warping of technological advancement in order to have flying ships, and bigger explosions made me crazy.  The men playing Athos, Prothos and Aramis were quite good.  Athos especially had a dark velvet voice, and he brooded nicely.  Logan Lerman was cute as D’Artagnan.  The director and screenwriter played Queen Anne and Louis XIII as spoiled children which was actually fairly interesting.    (An aside — I’ve felt that’s the only way you can sit through Mozart’s opera Cosi fan Tutti).  Planchet is always a great role for a comedic actor, and James Corden did a nice job.  They also shot the sword fights with a medium lens so you could actually see the sword play.  I was glad for that.  The extreme close up doesn’t add to my sense of being in the moment.  It’s just confusing, and good swordplay is beautiful to watch.

It was the whole airships, winching up carriages into said airship, crashing airships on Notre Dame, etc., just felt stupid and cynical.  I have this sense that audiences are burning out on the flamboyant CGI battles and explosions inside explosions.  Eventually you can’t make the action any bigger, and if that’s all that’s supporting your film it will eventually collapse under it’s own weight.  I saw this with THE HOBBIT.  The core story, one man’s journey to find discover who he is and what he’s capable of accomplishing is a moving, meaningful story.  I didn’t need all the endless orc and goblin CGI battles.

So too with the Musketeers.  The story of a young man finding his place in the world, and of male comaraderie is wonderful, and swashbuckling sword fights should be enough.

6 Responses to Bastardized Three Musketeers

  • Christine Valada says:

    Just go back and watch Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, etc. in an almost perfect version of the books with the two films. The 20 Years Later adaptation with them is a mess, compounded by the death of the actor playing Planchet.

  • Georgino says:

    I really want to say something interesting about this movie, but I haven’t seen it. Nor at this moment have I seen The Hobbit. I’m saving that for a date with my fiancee.
    but about the three musketeers, I’ve come to a somewhat grim conclusion about it. the story itself is so vast that it is never told in a single movie. this leaves it open to a lot of tinkering. this tinkering is constantly being done by Hollywood to connect it to a new audience
    personally I liked the one from the early 90’s with Kiefer sutherland, Chris O’donnel, Oliver Platt. that was the right feel for it

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      I missed that one. My favorite is the Oliver Reed, Michael York, Christopher Lee. They made two movies that carried the story all the way through to the destruction of Milady de Winter. If you haven’t seen them I very much recommend them. The script was brilliant. They were written by George MacDonald Fraser who wrote the Flashman books which are just amazing good fun.

  • Georgino says:

    I’ll look for those, I’m a fan of Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee.

    the one I mentioned came out in 1993.

  • S.C. Butler says:

    Oliver Reed as Athos – end of story. And the best swordfights ever. (Apparently the same guy is choreographing the swordfights in GoT.)

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      Totally agree. You know that Christopher Lee choreographed a lot of those fight sequences. Apparently he was a great swordsman. When Athos tells the story of his doomed marriage to Milady — god Reed was a great actor.

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