Sunday, February 05, 2012

REVIEW: The Three Musketeers (2011)

Dear God. There are no words. I was almost excited about 2 years ago when Warner announced Doug Liman would direct a Sherlock Holmes/Guy Ritchie-inspired adaptation of the over-done Dumas story to freshen it up, because (I admit) I'm a sucker for Ritchie's fresh take on the characters. But then POS Anderson announced his own intention to do it, and when he managed to cut-corner his way to the finish line and get his film into production way before Liman, Warner -wisely- decided that "F*ck this sh*t, POS ruined it for the next 10 years". And Lord were they right.

Airships? Really?!? With so many adaptation, angles, takes and vision of the novel having been filmed, the one that hadn't been done is clearly the one it didn't need -at ALL- Science Fiction. because folks, this ain't your great-great-great-and so on-grand father's version of history. This is the guy who made Resident Evil telling you that England invaded France with sailboats that float in the friggin air and manoeuvre about as accurately as a 747.  Don't get me wrong, I like me a heatlhy dose of Steampunk -given the right story- but this here is a different kind of punk.

Flying sailboats. Because F*ck You, Isaac Newton.

The film does build on a strong foundation nevertheless: the titular swashbucklers, Matthew MacFadyen, Luke Evans and especially Ray Stevenson as Porthos are pitch-perfectly cast and bring a grounded realism that very sharply contrasts with the ludicrous nature of the "adventure" they face. And the rest of the cast. Orlando Bloom continues to stumble is way out of the shire, Christoph Waltz sadly phones it in -and long distance at that- and Logan Lermann as D'Artagnan reminded me why Percy Jackson was ruined so horribly. But the coup de grace is POS's insistence to keep casting his carboard cutout of a wife Mila Jovovich who turns Milady de Winter into an evil Cirque du Soleil wannabe.

The story starts out pretty faithfully, following D'Artagnan as he tries to join the Musketeers but in the process ends up engaged in duels with all three of his future friends. But then things start to go south with the Evil Buckingham showing up in the aforementioned vessels from a bad animé. Like everything else here, that thing makes no sense and not in a good way. If it was meant to be funny, like everything else here, it's not. Sometimes a movie is dumb enough you can't help like it; not the case. It's overblown, over CGI'd and quite frankly I'm thankful my cellphone has a Silence mode so I could play Angry Birds during the film.

"Hold on boys, we'll start sparkling any second now..."

I would predict that this fiasco, easily one of the worst last year equal only to Season of the Witch and Green Hornet, is a career ender for Anderson, but the dude keeps going even after Resident Evil and AvP. The ending not only suggests but states of coming sequels with "Buck" on his way to France with -get this- a FLEET of flying ships. Thank God it only made $20M in the U.S. out of a $75M budget. Do yourself a favor, forgo this one and track down Richard Lester's quintessential 1973 two-part adaptation instead.

Final Word: 3.5/10

N.B. I know his name is PWS, but POS is a better fit...

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