I wanted to see this one when it came out in the theaters last year, but just didn't make it. Having just watched it on DVD, now I'm glad I didn't waste my money. This version sucked. Funny thing is, that's actually hard to do. The Three Musketeers, by their very nature, are interesting. They're living in an interesting time period, with great villains and great costumes. How do you mess that up?
Well, this movie starts by writing the musketeers with zero personality. This is the first time I have actively disliked Athos. Dude, that is just unheard of. Athos is awesome. Or he's supposed to be. Not here. He was... boring, flat, uninteresting, and completely lacking in anything that made me want to root for him. Porthos and Aramis were far more interesting, and usually they're the boring ones. They, at least, were a few pegs up the personality board. D'Artagnan... ugh. Just a smirking teenager. With bad hair. He seemed so ridiculously young... I just... yawn.
What was good? Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort. Now, he was well cast. Too bad they gave him so little to do, because he was interesting and an entertaining villain. Orlando Bloom was also good as the Duke of Buckingham. He made me grin. And I love Milla Jovovich. She's one of the few modern actresses I really like. But while she looked great in her costumes, I just didn't buy her version of Milady. I love action, and I love women who can hold their own, but there's got to be some sense of reality or I just can't get on board.
Speaking of action, there were lots of sword fights! You think I'd have liked those, and they were some of the better moments. Except when the camera kept going all slow-motion and making what was otherwise fun to watch devolve into stupid. And the big fight between Rochefort and D'Artagnan just relied too much on cheats by setting it on the top of a roof. Instead of a truly interesting sword fight between two talented swordsmen who hate each other and have the fate of France at stake, you get this sort of "but wait, we can make the fight COOLER" type of deal from the film makers. *rolls eyes* Most of the action moments seemed to have this great desire to outdo something... not sure what, but they certainly pushed right past even my usually willing suspension of disbelief into ridiculous land.
And airships! I love airships and blimps. Don't ask me how, but they made those boring too. Not to mention lame and they appeared to quite defy physics and air currents. It's hard to make me not like a sequence with airships fighting with cannon, but they succeeded.
The funny thing is, I really had rather low expectations for this film too. I wasn't expecting much more than a popcorn diversion. I didn't even get that. Except for Rochefort. He was my favorite part. He looked great too. Costumes and set decorations and interiors were all first rate, though. It looked good, at least.
What a waste of a fine story.