Still backlogged with the many goings on keeping me from posting so I can’t actually post about any of the goings on. It’s a vicious circle. Instead, have a cranky review.
I should first note that while I’m quite familiar with Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers is not among the many works of his that I have read. It sort of defies logic, but I don’t really have an excuse. Nevertheless, my point is that I’m rather unfamiliar with all but the most basic knowledge of this swashbuckling tale. Though, I’m not entirely sure that was a fault when it comes to this film. Certainly it was somewhat of an offset to all the negativity that greeted the film.
Personally, I think it would have been better received if it had been released a few months earlier as it’s the hallmark of a summer flick. All action and visual effects and very little substance. That isn’t to say there aren’t redeemable qualities and in fact the choreographed swordplay is quite exceptional. There’s certainly enough of it to keep the running time almost free of boredom.
At the very least your eyes will most assuredly never lack for stimuli. I’m not familiar with Paul W.S. Anderson at all, but I found this film almost nauseating in the amount captured on screen at any given time. There’s no one place for the eye to settle what with the gaudy wardrobe and sets that are littered with complex patterns and details to the point of distraction. I’m a great fan of period pieces, but this one is more a caricature of history than a romanticized version.
All the fussiness in the visual style does help alleviate the dreadfulness of the script, which has a grand helping of wretched dialogue and a plot that is simultaneously difficult to follow and completely transparent. I didn’t know such a thing were possible! And what the hell was up with all the accents?! There’s no point in expending the effort to bemoan the fact that no one sounds like they’re from Paris because not one person sounds like they’re even from the same place! I’ll give Orlando Bloom a bit of credit: he’s finally used a different accent than Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. But only to move so far into the stereotypical bad guy that his only misstep was to never twirl his mustache!
But for as dreadful as all that is what really bothers me is how entirely sick I have become of “bullet-time” like effects. I don’t necessarily mind the usage nor do I entirely despise these advancements being used to update these types of films, though I do admit to having a similar feeling of dissatisfaction with Sherlock Holmes. (Though, I actually liked that film.) No, really, it’s that I didn’t find their usage here enhanced anything. The fights would have been just as interesting without constantly slowing down and speeding up at random. In the end all it did was to make me feel a bit motion sick. Basically, it was like James Bond if it were a period film and lacking any British charm.
Truly, there are better ways to spend two hours.