This is not the rather wonderful Richard Lester two part adaptation, or even the enjoyably cheesy Brat Pack version, but last year’s attempt to launch it as a brand with 3D and fan service.
The Musketeers are introduced as the King of France’s elite secret stealers- ninjas with flintlocks, or James Bond and Ethan Hunt with repeating crossbows. Tasked with stealing one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs from a Venetian vault, they commit cultural vandalism by destroying everything else in the crypt. Then they’re double crossed and disgraced by milady DeWinter and Orlando Bloom.
Fast forward a year and cocky pretty boy D’Artagnan is in Paris looking to join the King’s guards. Cue the three-way duel and the fight with Rochefort’s guards, one of the few scenes recognisable from the Lester version*. The rest of the movie is full of made up silliness and plot holes you could drive a flying galleon through.
Yes, a flying galleon- the one design saved from Da Vinci’s vault. Because those are historically accurate and absolutely believable. They’re just one of the many effects or action sequences shoehorned in to cater for the presumed short attention spans of the fifteen year old boys all films are supposedly made for these days.
It’s not all bad, I admit- there are moments of humour and it looks really, really good- but it’s just nowhere near as good as Lester’s version. I recommend you watch that one instead, but, if you must, you can buy the 2012 version of The Three Musketeers from Amazon.
*I haven’t read the book yet, but for the purposes of this review I’ll presume the Lester film is close to it.