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Mediocre ‘Musketeers’ misses the mark

As a child, I was so thrilled after seeing the 1973 version of “The Three Musketeers” that I nagged my mother to take me to the public library the next day so that I could check out the young reader version of the Alexandre Dumas classic. Somehow, I can’t imagine that the latest film version of “The Three Musketeers” will engender the same sense of adventure in young viewers, although it feels so much like a video game that it might inspire them to break out the Wii Sword fighting game.

The story behind the “Musketeers” follows a young country lad, D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) who travels to Paris with hopes of joining the famed legion of musketeers. Things don’t go smoothly at first, as D’Artagnan arouses the ire of the three most notable Musketeers, Athos (Matthew MacFadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans). No worries, though, as matters are smoothed over and our young hero quickly enlists on an adventure that takes the merry band of swordsmen across the English Channel in search of the Queen’s necklace. Political machinations and a lot of sword fighting follows.

For some reason, there’s also a lot of computer generated action coming. It makes the film feel like a video game, or perhaps something out of one of the “Matrix” movies. That’s a somewhat inappropriate choice for a film set in 18th century Paris.

Logan Lerman is also a disappointing choice, as he makes for a rather bland hero—more cookie-cutter surfer-dude than elite French swordsman. The other main Musketeers are quite likeable and the film picks up steam whenever they are on screen. The villains, on the other hand, are a fairly dismal lot. As Milady deWinter, Milla Jovovich does the same thing she did in the “Resident Evil” movies, except this time she gets to do the stunts in a heavy dress and corset. At least she fares better than Orlando Bloom, who seems to think that donning a bad wig is all it takes to play an oily bad guy.

Ultimately, “The Three Musketeers” doesn’t work because many of the actors aren’t very good and the film is so anachronistic that it makes for a jarring cinematic experience. Despite all of this, the filmmakers obviously hope for more, ending the story with the strong hint of a sequel. While I, for one, would actually love to see the further adventures of some of these Musketeers, with most of this cast and filmmaking crew, I think that one film is enough for all, thank you very much.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” can be found bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.