Already subject to many adaptations, this year sees Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Three Musketeers made over as a 3D extravaganza. The plot centres on young D’Artagnan, who travels to Paris hoping to become a Musketeer of the Guard. Indeed he does find the very people he was looking for, but they aren’t quite what he was expecting – rather than the heroic figures his father told tales of, the musketeers are washed-up men with a penchant for alcohol and cynicism. Thankfully, the musketeers gain a new cause when they stumble across a plot which involves the enigmatic Cardinal Richelieu, the Duke of Buckingham and Milady de Winter.
First off, it’s important to say that, as with most films, the 3D is completely unnecessary. Watching a few swords leap out of the screen really doesn’t add anything to the action. Also pointless is the predictable romance D’Artagnan pursues, which only succeeds in coming across as cheesy. There were a few rolls of eyes at some of the dialogue those two characters engaged in. However, there is much to be positive about when considering the film. The musketeers themselves are all of familiar constructions – there’s an intelligent one, a strong one, and one who has been scorned by a woman – but they are nonetheless entertaining. Logan Lerman is perfect as their new acquaintance, the cocky D’Artagnan, and pretty handy with a sword too. The scenes where he fights off dozens of Richelieu’s soldier’s are a blast.
Other well-played characters include Buckingham and Milady. After heroic roles such as The Lord of the Rings’ Legolas and Pirates’ Will Turner, it’s a joy to see Orlando Bloom sink his teeth into a far more devilish role. The fashion fights between Buckingham and the childlike King Louis XIII are odd, but kind of hilarious (I guess it depends what time of the day it is). Milady de Winter is also engaging, Milla Jovovich alluring as the devious double-crosser. Milady bears similarities to other Hollywood temptresses such as Sherlock Holmes’ Irene Adler, but has sufficient dimensions to keep her involvement interesting. The film also features comedy performances from the wonderful James Corden (who has thankfully taken over the small roles Ricky Gervais used to play, anyone remember his awful cameo in Stardust?) and a seventeenth-century Gok Wan-style tailor. So aside from the 3D and a few cringe-worthy moments, The Three Musketeers is a thoroughly entertaining adventure.