By Doc Apple
I went to see this new version of the Dumas classic story and I had very high hopes. After all, the story should be good, the cast looked very good, and I thought, well 3D should be okay, since it was for the last two animated movies that I saw with it. Plus I love this story of the dashing, sometimes awkward young D'Artagnon arriving in Paris meeting the three recently disbanded Musketeers and then having wonderful adventures. I really like the actor Matthew Macfadyen who plays Athos and of course, I've been crazy for Milla Jovovich
ever since The Fifth Element.
So, there we sat waiting for the movie to begin. I had a nice box of popcorn with death defying yellow grease over part of it. And then the moment came!!
I knew that I was in for a huge disappointment when we are introduced to a secret agent mission of the 3 Musketeers--D'Artagnon is not here yet--and we are in Venice where a guard is patrolling a dock and all of a sudden a figure explodes out of the water in some kind of underwater gear, helmut and all, and some kind of device in each hand explodes into some kind of zany multi-projectile weapon.
Please!! Sadly this was the least objectionable segment of a terrible script, a botched story, 3D effects that simply do not measure up with live action movies, and explosion after explosion. And I won't even mention the hair on Orlando Bloom, aka the Duke of Buckingham, other than to say, omigod!!!
For some reason the writers, producers, and director of this debacle must have thought that the story by Dumas in 1844 must have needed drastic revision and must have lacked both ridiculous kinds of imaginary technology and fantastic types of ninja fighting techniques, because this is what they put in this absurd movie. And it ends by begging for a sequel.
Now on the plus side, some of the sword fighting sequences are good such as when the soon to be 4 Musketeers are suddenly surrounded (as if by teleportation) by 40 of the Cardinal's guards. But this is too little I'm afraid.
So, what did they do to the original story? Without giving too much away, I'll say this. They add absurd forms of technology such as the underwater suit, special fighting weapons, Da Vinci designed (but not explained) flying ships that are half 17th Century naval ships and 20th Century
Zeppelins, and backdrop material that is dropped. There is little of the original left except for the 3 Musketeers, the challenge between D'Artagnon and 2 of them (not all 3), the characters of Milady, Cardinal Richeliu, Buckingham, and Rochefort. Oh and the King, Queen, and the Queen's attendant who are remarkably on very good terms with this Gascon peasant just arrived in Paris. Oh and there are about as many explosions as any run of the mill modern action movie. And all in what is supposed to be 3D.
I've seen some wonderful 3D in animated films. It works there because animation 3D is able to put in the middle of the action at least as much as is necessary. But live action 3D just fails miserably. Much of it looks flat, like an animated movie with real people walking around--where have you gone Ralph Bakshi--and only the occasional item that comes right at you.
I could go on with many other absurdities such as a flying ship that crashes onto Notre Dame Cathedral with little to no notice from anyone, the apparent ability to make dozens if not hundreds of these flying ships as if by magic, and the young King of France receiving romance advice from, of all sources, the complete stranger and peasant, D'Artagnon.
Oh the humanity!!!