Film Review The Three Musketeers (2011)
The Three Musketeers (2011)
Director: Paul W.S Anderson (2011)
In the interest of not being pigeonholed a cynic, and because my therapist recommend it as an accompaniment to the blue pills, I have decided to make this review an example pure positivism, complete with a can do attitude and sycophantic praise when earned..
I like The Three Musketeers 2011, and I especially like, how, despite there already being lots of Musketeer films, they’ve decided to make another one in English with a couple of Foreign sounding actors as bad guys. I also really like that this incarnation of The Three Musketeers is a Steampunk influenced romp with lavish costumes, storylines and airships, because I really really really really really really really, REALLY REALLY RE-HEE-HEELY like Steam-punk.
The casting is unbelievably likeable; Mathew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans make for some wonderful English accented Musketeers, out done only by the dashing American brogue of Logan Lerman’s D’Artagnan. In opposition we get the Danish dulcet tones of an eye-patched Mads Mikkelsen, the impressive Christopher Waltz and Orlando Bloom. But that’s not all! Stealing the likeability award is Mila Jovovich as Milady, who manages to overcome the dichotomy of stealthy assassin and South American carnival drag queen in a stunningly likeable way.
Where to begin? Everything’s just so damn likeable, there’s a wondrous introduction complete with freeze frames and huge titles, in which the Three Musketeers and Milady flood a ‘Da Vinci vault’ in order to escape some likeable venetian guards, only for them to be double crossed by The Duke Of Likingham, (Orlando Bloom). I like how everything valuable or potentially useful in the vault was destroyed without a second thought, and I especially like the way Paul W.S Anderson appears to have told Bloom to just be a dick. It’s inspiring to see him hamming it up to the point of being borderline unwatchable.
D’Artagnan starts a likeability fight with the Three Musketeers, which turns into a pitched battle against some equally likeable guards, then the likeable King Louis XIII and Queen Anne (Freddie Fox and Juno Temple respectably), complete with joyously likeable steam punk styled costumes, teenage tantrums, espionage and Cardinal Christopher Waltz enter the fray. There’s some genuinely likeable characterisation going on, and just when I thought nothing could get more likeable there’s a cameo from James Corden and a love interest for American D’Artagnan in the form of Gabriella Wilde, who seems to play half likeably highborn flower girl, and half likeable plank of oak wood.
So all in all, one hell of a likeable cake mix right? Hell yes, and then we get some stunningly likeable moments. Mila Jovovich has to steal a necklace belonging to the queen, probably because it’s so likeable. Traditionally stealing something would involve stealth, but oh no, Mila goes about slaughtering 8 queens guards, leaving their corpses on a roof and then stripping off clothing to the point where she makes Jessica Alba in Sin City look overdressed. That’s the way to likeably steal something boys and girls. I also liked the way the Queen didn’t bother to even mention 8 of her guards had been killed, ‘who cares about 8 guards being killed’ I can hear her cry, ‘I have many more and everything is just so gosh darn likeable!’.
Another moment of equally likeable logic involves The Musketeers, Oak Wood Plank Lady, a possibly time traveling James Corden (He got downstairs from upstairs in a matter of seconds, but take that as a likeable Doctor Who reference) riding on horseback ‘away’ from a unit of riflemen, and by ‘away’ I mean straight towards them and then off into the distance in a straight line. ‘The riflemen would surely make such an easy shot’ some unlikeable rogue would have cried, and shame on them for doing so, because hitting a moving target, correction, large moving target, that is directly in front/behind you with your rifle is exactly the sort of unlikeable exploit that has no business being in such a likeable film.
There are some likeable switches from Parisian France to Likinghamshire in England, which involves a plan by Mathew MacFadyen so likeable it can only be described as operation, ‘randomly get captured/blow stuff up until we reach a likeable conclusion involving airships and winches’. Which I like. Then come the airships, and if there’s one thing I haven’t like about The Musketeers franchise up to this point, it’d be a lack of large likeable airships, but luckily, when Steampunk is involved Airships that dwarf the Hindenburg are always out in force, so now everything is even more bloody likeable than ever! Of course, these Airship battles could have been ruined if the same unlikeable rogue that may have cast aspersions on the horse/rifleman escape plan pointed out that bringing down an airship held up by a giant balloon may be incredibly easy if you have a needle bigger than Thumbelina, but I just wish that person would fuck off and die and let me get on with liking everything Paul W.S Anderson has given me. Of course I wish they would fuck off and die in a likeable, nice way.
There’s something even more likeable than all the airships, accents and dead members of The Queen’s Guardsmen though, and it’s an issue close to the heart of every Steampunker. A mathematical formulae which dictates that a story can be as incomprehensible or trite as you like, it’ll still be likeable as long as one element is proportioned properly. COSTUMES! Luckily for us likeable souls, this is the main focal point of The Three Musketeers, everyone gets to wear colours, lots of them, there are eyeglasses, hammers, hidden knifes, possibly a watch, I think I even saw a metal arm at one point. It’s a massive relief, at points in The Three Musketeers, characters like Christopher Waltz threatened to say or do something gritty or coherent, my unlikeable alarm started to bleep and I began to grip the arm rests of my seat in Cineworld Screen 7 like an airplane passenger with a fear of heights and stiff-hand syndrome just before the moment of take-off. Likeably though, these fears were unfounded, as a bright green/purple/blue or equally definite point of the colour spectrum costume, or conversation about a bright green/purple/blue or equally definite point of the colour spectrum costume was thrown in and all my fears of realism or having to do something messy like emphasise with a character were dissolved in a sugared sea of honey and joyous feelings.
So all in all one hell of a likeable film, hats off to Paul W.S Anderson for being brave enough to make something so likeable. I don’t usually like to pick a favourite moment, because most of the bestest mostest likeablest films have tons of great scenes, but with The Three Musketeers, I have to admit I enjoyed the last scene the most, not just because of what it achieved (And it’d be too unlikeable to add a spoiler now), but also because it was the last scene.
Written By Sam ‘All I have is One and One is definitely not for all’ McKinstrie
Unnecessarily on twitter as McKinstHFP
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