The Three Musketeers

Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfayden, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelsen, James Corden, Juno Temple, Orlando Bloom, and Christoph Waltz

Every once in a while, I have reasonably high hopes for a film even when I know I shouldn't.  When I heard about The Three Musketeers, I thought it had potential to be a sleeper hit.  Then, I learned about the cast, a melting pot of lesser known actors and stars who stopped shining on the big screen long ago.  Then, the movie got delayed from an August release date to a weekend in late October.  When they wouldn't even compete with the crap studios put out in August like The Change-Up, Final Destination 5, and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, I should've known better.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for swashbuckling action.  Even though all the signs were pointing in the wrong direction for the film, I was still optimistic.  Then, I actually saw The Three Musketeers, and my little bubble was completely deflated.

In 17th century Venice, the Three Musketeers--Athos (Matthew Macfayden), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans)--and Athos' lover Milady (Milla Jovovich) steal Leonardo Da Vinci's blueprints for a flying warship.  Milady quickly betrays the fierce trio and steals the plans with the help of Lord Buckingham (Orlando Bloom).  The two return to England.  Meanwhile, the musketeers return to France and are disbanded by Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) for their failure.

A year later, D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), the son of a former musketeer from Gascony, travels to Paris with the hopes of becoming one himself.  Upon his arrival in France, the young warrior makes plenty of enemies including Captain Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), the head of Cardinal Richelieu's guard.  He also does little to befriend the musketeers.  When Athos, Porthos, and Aramis witness the young warrior's abilities in a public fight with the Cardinal's guards, they decide to take him under their wing.  Little do they know that D'Artagnan's first experiences with them will be helping to save France from a plague of corruption led by Cardinal Richelieu, Milady, and Lord Buckingham that threatens to tear the nation asunder.

As great as that plot description sounds, director Paul W.S. Anderson and his motley ensemble of B-list stars just don't get the job done.  The biggest problem with The Three Musketeers is the cast itself.  They're just not right for the film.  There is no way in hell that I would ever believe that Logan Lerman, the boy who played Percy Jackson just last year, could be killing fools left and right in the movie like that.  He doesn't even have the physique for that sort of a role.  There's absolutely nothing imposing about him. 

Milla Jovovich should stick to killing zombies because she doesn't play a 17th century dainty yet fierce villainess all too well.  She has the kickass part of the role down, but any other scene with her trying to appear like a lady of the era just feels wrong on so many levels.  For Orlando Bloom, it's all over.  There are no more Pirates of the Caribbean or Lord of the Rings flicks for him, and he actually needs to prove himself again.  If his role as Lord Buckingham is the best he's got, there won't be too many more big budget blockbusters in his future.  All in all, the cast is a complete and utter mismatch for the musketeers.

The other big problem with the movie is the filmmaking itself.  It's too sugary.  With the right cast and the right creative direction, this series could have easily been the next Pirates of the Caribbean.  Instead, it's sweeter than the candy bar of the same name.  Full of unfunny jokes and teen love, there is little room to introduce a worthwhile plot line  in the two hour time frame.  The Three Musketeers falls far below what it could have been and fits right in with a lot of the crap that studios have released in the late summer and early fall.

The musketeers may have been too broke to buy liquor in the movie, but hopefully you're not.  Just go to the bar and buy a few rounds of mystery shots before going to see this one; tell the bartender to make those shots extra strong.  The Three Musketeers gets everything wrong on the Sobriety Test and has earned a 0.12% rating.  If you must go see it, bottoms up!