Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Three Musketeers (2011)


Definitely an action-adventure flick. The movie has a lot more swashbuckling and gun fighting than the book, and it's clear this is a Hollywood production. I didn't realize until afterwards that the movie was intended for 3D, and in retrospect, it probably would have been a lot more impressive as a big screen, 3D experience.

From the very beginning, this movie plays fast and loose with the original story. The movie invents a crazy back story in which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are in cahoots with Milady, and they are involved in some kind of James Bond-like intrigue. Oddly, Buckingham is an over-stylized villain.

I thought Orlando Bloom was overly dramatic as Buckingham, and actually, I would have preferred to see him as d'Artagnan! d'Artagnan was a bit younger than I expected (15-ish instead of 19-ish), and Athos and Porthos came across as a lot older than I expected (mid-30's instead of mid-20's). Buckingham and Aramis shared an uncanny resemblance, which is actually an important point in the book, but completely irrelevant in this movie.

I did enjoy the casting of the cardinal, the king, and the queen.

Besides the glaring deviations from the book, and the altogether invented material, I also wondered why smaller deviations were made. Why make Athos, Porthos, and Aramis ex-musketeers? It would have been fun to see them in musketeer uniforms.

There were also shortcuts and LOTS of omissions - no Captain de Treville, no Grimaud or Mosqueton or Bazin, no fleur-de-lis, no Lord de Winter. But what else could be expected, the book is much too long and complex to be done justice in a two-hour movie.

The ending is completely different from the book's ending, but it's about what you would expect from a Hollywood movie. Clearly there is a sequel in the works, but I don't expect it to be in any way related to the books. Overall, the movie is comfortably light-hearted, and the song for the closing credits, "When We Were Young," really captures the spirit if the book.

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