The Scoop: 2011 PG-13, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Tagline: Every legend has a new beginning.
Summary Capsule: Three Musketeers story meets Resident Evil style meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ridiculousness.
Eunice’s Rating: I’m gonna’ tell you a secret. ’cause I trust you guys like that okay?
Eunice’s Review: This movie is beyond silly. It is astronomically insanely silly. They haven’t invented a synonym for silly that carries the emphasis needed to explain.
But I’m going to admit it: I loved every goofy, source material murdering minute of it. I found myself rolling on my bed mind completely blown by the ‘what were they smoking?!’-ness laughing out loud. Guffawing. Full on “Bwahaha!” Watching through my fingers in morbid glee.
I’m so ashamed of myself.
So plot the secondary: We open up in Venice where some French spy/ninjas are getting keys off of various people using smooth moves and super strength. Come to find out these are Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), Aramis (Luke Evans), and Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich). After some daring-do to break into a vault to get some weapons plans Milady declares her love for Athos. But Milady is a double agent! (We the audience have seen this coming) The Duke of Buckingham, complete with villainous twirly mustache and huge pompadour, is her new boss. The two leave, sneering the whole way at the now plan-less and emasculated Musketeers .
Plot the main: Set in really way back times France, young D’Artagnan sets out from home to Paris to realize his dream of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a Musketeer. On the way he gets into a fight with a one eyed man and is saved by a beautiful woman called only “Milady.” After actually making it to Paris he finds the one eyed man, Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), in a crowd and tries to follow him. Instead a bunch of mishaps and misunderstandings happen that ends with him having dueling appointments with three men. The three men are Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Then Rochefort shows up to arrest everyone for dueling. The four of them open a can on the guards and look good doing it. All insults are forgiven and the four are now roomies and BFFs.
Stuff happens and the truly main plot is revealed. The Cardinal Richelieu has super secret plans to overthrow the King (who is kinda stupid) and Queen (who is not stupid) and rule France himself. The plan involves diamonds and letters to make it look like the Queen and the Duke are having an affair (but they totally are not) with the end game of starting a war between England and France. In his employ are both Rochefort and Milady.
Well the Duke Pompadour of Sneering Mustache Twirling arrives on- Whoa whoa whoa. Is that Orlando Bloom? Holy bovines, that is Orlando Bloom! No lie I was so dazzled by the head hair and the facial hair I didn’t recognize him- anyway he arrives on a… Wait for it… “Airship.” As in a ship attached to a very big balloon. And the word “Airship” is said just like that, and all I can hear in my head is Captain Nemo saying “I call it an ‘Automobile‘.”
And that ladies and gents is when my brain hit the breaking point, went snap, and realigned itself into guilty pleasure mode. And I feel oh so guilty.
Especially when Milady goes all Ghost in the Shell killing twenty guys and jumping about four stories wearing nothing but her undergarments. ‘Man,’ I thinks to myself, ‘this feels so Resident Evil. It’s like Alice in period clothes. *Looks at back of box* Ah, Paul W.S. Anderson directed it. All becomes clear.’
More do-daring and swashing of buckles happen with a misdirection plot that I didn’t completely understand, some empty drama, airship battles [!!], and bantering.
The only true drawback, probably a result of the 3-D effects and as in it’s just bad not entertaining, is the overabundance of mediocre CGI. I’m not talking about things like the airships (which are probably the best CGI in the movie), but simple things like fire just look fake, and buildings/landscapes look cartoon-y, but not in an over stylized way like it’s what they trying for, just in a flat way.
But I am glad to say that the thing that actually made me want to watch it in the first place is also the best thing. The Three Musketeers went on my list as soon as I found out Matthew Macfadyen was in it (Been in love with since: MI-5/Spooks). Then after seeing Immortals, which I thought was terrible except for the gods scenes, I looked up Luke Evans and he was in it too! Ray Stevenson who has been in everything (highly recommend Kill the Irishman). Milla Jovovich who has incredible cult movie street cred. Mads Mikkelsen who I first noticed as Casino Royale‘s also ocular challenged Le Chiffre (wasn’t he also missing an eye in Valhalla Rising?). Everyone is actually very in tune with the -silly- tone of the movie. And it actually really works. Somehow.
Special props go to Orlando Bloom for his pitch perfect greasy hammy portrayal of the Duke. It’s like, “Why yes I am sporting a laughable pompadour, eeevil facial hair, and tights.” *Condescending leering sneer sneer*
[Only slightly related obsessive moment of realization: Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage, and Lee Pace are all going to be in The Hobbit. Squee!]
All of this is to say, your mileage may vary. If you don’t mind movies that are just pure eye candy enjoyment, you may like this. Or for the cast. For myself, I went on to watch it two more times, would gladly watch it again if happened to come on TV, or even buy it if I saw it in the $5 bin.
- I love Milla Jovovich’s wardrobe
- Did they just steal dialogue from the Princess Bride?! They totally stole the “life is pain” line!
- Sequel bait.
Duke of Buckingham: Well, just so you don’t leave empty-handed, a word of advice. Trust no one, especially women. You’ll live longer.
Queen: Was it 40, or 400?
Athos: No, just 40. We had an off day.
D’Artagnan: Enjoying the show?
Constance: Are you always this cocky?
D’Artagnan: Only on Tuesdays and whenever beautiful women are involved.
Constance: So, you think I’m beautiful?
D’Artagnan: Actually, it’s Tuesday.
Athos: I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. Made a lot of hard choices. For honor, for King, for country. Do you know what I ‘ve learned, boy? Hard choices and sacrifices do not keep you warm at night. And life is too damn short and too damn long to go through without someone at your side. Don’t end up like me. Choose the woman. Fight for love, D’Artagnan. France will take care of itself.
D’Artagnan: Afraid to face me in a fair fight?
Rochefort: No, I just don’t fight fair.
If you liked this movie, try these:
- The Three Musketeers (1993)
- Resident Evil movies
- Prince of Persia