Posted by: cassymuronaka | October 19, 2011

“The Three Musketeers,” Steampunk and Ninja warrior edition

Oh, these movie guys are going to kill me.  Another version of  “The Three Musketeers?” How many does that make in the last two decades alone, not counting the animated films (“Barbie and the Three Musketeers,” 2009)?

And yet… and yet… I will still go, no matter how savage the reviews.  And I will thoroughly enjoy and voraciously consume every single minute of the movie. Simply drop the words “swashbuckle,” “pirate,” or “Jane Austen” and I am there.

The newest version of Alexander Dumas’ classic novel of pre-French Revolution corruption, intrigue and unabashed heroism has a cast that may bring me to my knees faster than I fell for the idea of another upcoming remake, that of John le Carré’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”  This, despite a trailer that indicates that the movie and what it requires of its actors is so over-the-top as to be laughable.

But here also is a cast that has survived over-the-top and beyond to great success. Cristoph Waltz won an Academy Award not so long ago for a Quentin Tarantino movie; films that are the very definition of  over-the-top.  Milla Jovovich and her “Resident Evil” films now ranks with Ellen Ripley as one of cinema’s great tough chicks. Matthew Mcfayden was this millenium’s Mr. Darcy.  Orlando Bloom will never have to worry about money for the rest of his natural born days, thanks to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and Mads Mikkelsen, well, Mads Mikkelsen was voted the “Sexiest Man in Denmark.” That’s all you need to know about Mads Mikkelsen.


Matthew Macfadyen …………………. Athos
Ray Stevenson …………………………. Porthos
Orlando Bloom ………………………… Duke of Buckingham
Richelieu …………………………………. Cristolph Waltz
Mads Mikkelsen ……………………….. Rochefort
Milla Jovovich ………………………….. Milady de Winter

So far, the movie’s most impressive (and camp) scene during the movie trailer of this new production is of arch-villainess Milady de Winter sliding on her back under a hail of bullets less than a foot off the ground.  Or, maybe it’s the part where she dives off a building, head-first.  All of this is done in full 1625 French regalia, including a corseted ballgown, bloomers, satin shoes and what is probably a huge, curly red wig. Think: Marie Antoinette in “The Matrix,” with Milady spinning through the air during a sword fight, a la Keanu Reeves.

But Neo is a punk up against Milady.

If I am to believe the trailer, Milady also has decided that she wants to be a noble musketeer. This is a rather large detour from the book’s original plot, and how Matthew Macfayden (as Athos/the Duke de Winter, Milady’s former betrayed husband) and Milla Jovovich shot these scenes without tears of laughter running down their faces is probably a treat tribute to their acting abilities, because we all know that Milady is a psycho-killer and has been branded by the French penal system as one with her hidden fleur de lys tattoo.  Believe it or not, the tattoo actually was a part of the Dumas book.

But at some point you know Milady is going to revert to her nature and whip out her favorite musketeer-stabbing dagger that she always has hidden up her voluminous sleeve.

Steampunk and Ninja warriors provide the great background themes  here, which makes for great visual, albeit indecipherable appeal. In this movie, the Duke of Buckingham possesses a heretofore unnoticed naval sky talent, commanding elaborate zeppelins and deadly sir balloons. He also sports a slick-backed pompadour that would make Elvis Presley proud.

This great attention to detail may rivet the viewer, even when the plot and dialogue may not. Even the diving bell-shaped bullets were reinvented, although how they got into  and through 17th-century muskets is an interesting question that will have to remain unanswered until I actually see the film.  And that is …… Friday, when it opens.

Athos: “There are four of us against forty of them.”
Queen Anne (breathlessly): “Was it forty?  I thought it was 100.”
Athos (casually): “Trust me, forty; It was an off-day.


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