“All for one and one for all!” This famous catchphrase has been a staple of Alexandre Dumas’s classic tale The Three Musketeers since 1844. Numerous versions of the story have been made over the years from theater, games, television, comics and for purposes of this review, film. The most recent adaptation of Dumas’ classic work was released last year in 3D and features both newcomer actors and more seasoned thespians. The Three Musketeers is now out on Blu-ray 3D so get ready for a delightfully swashbuckling piece of home entertainment.
The film follows the Three Musketeers, three men who fight against evil and villainy for the good of France. These three warriors include Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans). Together, these swashbucklers use their swords and guns to clean up crime throughout the land. They are however opposed by the corrupt Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz), the beautiful but deadly Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) and the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom), a suave and handsome scoundrel. One day, the Musketeers all encounter D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), a young outsider with a quick temper who desperately wishes to be part of the Musketeer clan and the rest of the film has these four men battle those who both oppose them and threaten the prosperity of France.
Though it has a few flaws, The Three Musketeers is actually a pretty solid period action-adventure with some really top notch fight sequences and charismatic performances from the lead actors. The men who comprise the title characters each provide the film with a unique style that helps propel the film to great heights. Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice) is dry and intelligent as Athos, the tall and rugged Ray Stevenson (Rome) is amusing as Porthos and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) adds a touch of class and sex appeal as Aramis.
Aside from the Three Musketeers, Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) provides a large dose of creepiness as Richelieu and Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) is sexy yet vile as Milady de Winter but the most over-the-top and enjoyable performance surprisingly came from Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean films) as the Duke of Buckingham. He has a snooty British accent and walks around like he owns the place. His dialogue is arrogant and he is nothing but a slimy snake. He definitely stole the show.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil films) has put together a rather fine film here. TheThree Musketeers story has been done to death over the years but this version actually manages to entertain on a fairly large scale. There are awesome sword fights, slick moments of espionage, and an epic battle that echoes Pirates of the Caribbean but who cares, audiences eat this stuff up.
One negative I should point out is the corny, forced romance between D’Artagnan and one of the Queen of France’s assistants. The two actors who made this syrupy garbage possible are nothing but attractive faces on attractive bodies who should be in an Abercrombie & Fitch ad, not a major motion picture. Their acting was so bad and their chemistry was so lacking but hey, whatever.
It would appear that with 3D technology being the industry standard format for epic action-adventure films, The Three Musketeers was a no-brainer for the 3D treatment. The film feels and looks like Pirates of the Caribbean and even features one of its stars (Bloom) but even though it feels like we the audience have been down this road before, The Three Musketeersis actually pretty entertaining and contains some bits of originality. It may seem like recycled fluff but The Three Musketeers is actually a winner.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for The Three Musketeers are quite good. There is Access: Three Musketeers which gives you an inside look into the making of the film including interviews with the cast and filmmakers as well as a special look into the film’s fight scenes. There is also a feature-length audio commentary with the filmmakers and deleted scenes with even more commentary from the filmmakers.