The Three Musketeers (2011) review

Banana Rating: 1 out of 5

The Res­id­ent Evil series of video games may not be high art (“Jill sand­wich etc.”), but the best of them have had an eye for well paced action, and bristled with an irres­ist­ible B-movie energy. Things that were suc­cess­fully drained from Paul W.S. Ander­son’s crappy film adaptations.

And now? Now he’s turn­ing his atten­tion to clas­sic lit­er­at­ure. I’d like to say that the entire cos­mos is shud­der­ing at the thought, a uni­ver­sal shiver of dread right down to it’s very atoms. But that would give The Three Mus­ket­eers too much credit. A film this bor­ing, this mor­onic, is less of a galactic wide shud­der, but more of a tiny dull thump­ing on the inside of your skull.

Ander­son’s sole pur­pose in life is to now make films to keep his wife — Milla Jovovich — in work. Other than that, I can’t see any other reason that he keeps mak­ing them. Is he all about the script? Does he revel in the joy of finely tuned dia­logue? The inter­est­ing char­ac­ter arc? Nope.

There is talent there... somewhere...

Does he fill the screen with blis­ter­ing, seat of the pants action? No again. The guy doesn’t have a clue. If any of the char­ac­ters get stuck in a jam, there’s always a feel­ing that Ander­son will just take the easy way out, and rely on CGI trick­ery or some bul­let time bol­locks to ease a char­ac­ter through a poten­tially trouble­some scen­ario. We don’t get to see how that char­ac­ter might react under any great pres­sure, noth­ing that might make us see them in a fresh light, or gain our respect and admir­a­tion in ways we weren’t expect­ing. It harms the end­ing, for example, the point where most stor­ies are keen to have us gasp­ing in aston­ish­ment, fear­ful that our lead char­ac­ters might not suc­ceed. All the lazi­ness on show in the first two-thirds of the movie makes the cli­max some­thing of a bor­ing non-event.

The tragedy of all this, is that there is tal­ent there, some­where. There are times when Ander­son frames a shot in such a way that it makes you sit up and take notice. Also, the sets and cos­tumes look beau­ti­ful. But it’s frus­trat­ing to see such hard work in the cos­tume and set depart­ment go to waste on a dir­ector, who for the most part, can’t be bothered. The apathy extends to the act­ors as well. Mcfay­den deliv­ers a per­form­ance bor­der­ing on nar­co­leptic. The guy play­ing D’Artagnan has had all the cha­risma sucked out of him at birth, and depos­ited into a thimble. D’Artagnan’s love interest is beau­ti­ful to look at, but obvi­ously loathes the guy she’s meant to fall for. She looks like she’d rather be any­where else than within two feet of him.

And to be honest, that's where I'd rather be from this film, except maybe add a couple of hundred feet. What a turd of a movie.