The Three Musketeers (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

The Three Musketeers (2011)

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It's dark and quiet. The lights flicker above you and grow dimmer. A man closes in behind you and starts flashing pictures of a singular beautiful woman in your face. His voice is gravelly, his eyes unblinking.

"You wanna fuck my wife?"

The question takes you by surprise, but he quickly repeats himself.

"Do you wanna fuck my wife?"

The pictures keep coming. They're all of her, gasping, eyes rolled, dressed skimpily, trapped amid a flood of ecstasy.

"Do you wanna FUCK my WIFE?"

Flabbergasted, you nod.


The man throws the pictures to the ground, and pulls his wife out of the shadows. He pulls out his dick and inserts himself, jumping around like an idiot. His wife giggles as he humps to his hearts content.


This is, in a nutshell, the modern day experience of watching a film that's been directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring his wife, Milla Jovovich. Stand back, it's a bit unsettling.

And you don't want to get anything on your shoes.

Yes, your ornery uncles star in another fine adaptation of The Three Musketeers.

Meanwhile, Matthew MacFayden (Robin Hood), Ray Stevenson (The Book of Eli), and Luke Evans (Blitz) are The Three Musketeers! In this film's interpretation of things, that makes them an Age of Empires A-Team, a group of trouble makers who each have a personality trait and a sword. Unfortunately, the three men are, in action movie terms, not suave young leading men.

That's where baby faced Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) comes into play. He's D'Artagnan, the fourth Musketeer (there's always a fourth one, I can never figure out why they title these things as they do outside of brand recognition), and a cocky kid who learns... well, nothing in the course of this film, but sure gets punched a lot. And thank God for that.

Jovovich is a spy of sorts, and she varies her time between the film's villains, Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom. They're plotting and scheming against each other because the French and the English aren't too fond of each other at this point, and most of the film is a battle between the two as to who can chew more scenery: surprisingly, Bloom walks away with it handily.

Here's our cocksure cocky young cocky cock.

This version of The Three Musketeers has a lot of things going for it, and very few of them are commendable. No one seems to have told Anderson that it's no longer the 1990's, leaving his films riddled with cliches from two action film cycles ago. Slow motion fight sequences! Bad CGI! Obvious setup for a sequel! Terrible alternate history stuff! If the ending song was less heartfelt and more happy rap, this would pretty much just be Wild Wild West again.

The titular Musketeers are barely in the film, and are portrayed in essence far closer to your antagonistic and perpetually drunk uncles than anything heroic. They also each seem to have been characterized with a favorite videogame of Anderson's in mind-- Evans gets to be the lead of Assassin's Creed, Stevenson is a cheerier Kratos from God of War, and MacFayden bemoans losing his love like every whiny JRPG lead in the last decade.

To wit, Anderson's love of videogames informs every detail of the film, as we're treated to airships out of Final Fantasy and plot developments from the latest Command and Conquer game. If you're unfamiliar with these nods, the film feels stupefying; it's only when you understand these influences that you can fully appreciate what a monumentally awful film he's assembled.

Keep on saving up for that other facial expression, Milla.

There are good things about the film, which add to the ridiculous spectacle. The art direction and design for this film are gorgeous, and the costumes are magnificent. You normally don't see those praised so forthright in a movie review, but they're pretty great, and are good enough to make you believe that these stupid things actually had some finesse and care put into them. And the actors aren't so much bad, but ill served: the script is a running stream of action movie cliches and set pieces. Not much they can do about that.

But the truth is that the film adorns all of it's love on Lerman and Jovovich and... maybe I'm the only one who sees this, but take that picture of Lerman above and compare it with the one of Jovovich below. Now picture Lerman's hair is curly. You got that? Good. I think the film makes a little more sense to you.

If this was a normal review, I'd give the film a star or a half a star and call the movie banal. But this isn't that, and I'll only give you this my honest feeling: I had a blast watching this film. It's terrible in a truly great way.

Just check your shoes after you leave the theater.

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Posted by Danny

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  1. You forgot to mention that D’Artagnan is pretty much Link from the Legend of Zelda. As the film opens, he’s already the world’s greatest swordsman and his dad gives him the Master Sword, 50 ruppies and sends him off to Hyrule Castle on Epona to meet Zelda.

    Dude loves him some vidja games!

  2. hilarious opening! i had the same feeling when i was watching resident evil 4 except i was trying to be subtle.

    and the video vacuum also touched on the similar issue.

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