Paul W.S. Anderson’s unique take on The Three Musketeers is now available on Blu-ray.
I like Paul W.S. Anderson movies, I think he has a pretty unique vision as a director and he knows how to direct a good action sequence on a minimal budget. So when I heard he was going to remake one of my favorite franchises – The Three Musketeers, I was intrigued. This was one of my must see movies of 2011. What happened Paul? How do you mess up the Three Musketeers? As an action movie there’s a whole lot of buckling, very little swash and a whole lot of swish.
There are two main issues with this movie – the casting is TERRIBLE, not one character in this movie was properly cast. The Three Musketeers does not require actors with “gravitas” but it does require actors who look like they belong in the time period. Bad casting has always been a problem with The Three Musketeers, other than the 70s version I can’t think of a recent installment that had a proper cast. At least the actors in the last few Musketeers movies took their parts seriously or at least had fun. Orlando Bloom’s Duke of Buckingham was a prancing, over the top, “fay”, laughable joke. Not once do you buy him as a master manipulator or ladies man. I’m not sure what he was thinking or why Anderson let him portray the character the way he did, the same can be said of Freddie Fox’s King Louis. He is supposed to be childish, not a moronic over the top “gay” stereotype. The 3D didn’t help; it made everyone look weirdly out of proportion.
I love Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil series, she can do kick ass girl power with the best of them, but here her talents are wasted. She is supposed to use her sex appeal to woo and murder her way through the political intrigues of the times, but not one of the political leaders seem to have any interest in women, that alone her. There’s absolutely no chemistry between her and anyone in the cast. It is like she’s in her own movie. There was never a sense of danger or intrigue. Screenwriters Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies didn’t take any chances with the story.
The movie suffers from the malady that all remakes have – if you change it too much it becomes unrecognizable and you upset people like me who want the same thing only modernized, if you keep it the same it becomes unoriginal and a pointless exercise. I found myself wishing Anderson would take a chance and do something completely new or different with the story, setting, something beyond simply adding bad 3D. The only chance Anderson took was in the end when he used his famous Resident Evil teaser trick at the end of this movie. This 1-minute gotcha moment almost ruins the entire thing and had me leaving the theater with a sour taste in my mouth.
While this is a badly crafted movie, I still enjoyed it because at the end of the day I’m a sucker for The Three Musketeers.
This Blu-ray includes a 1080p High Definition 2:35:1 transfer. The aspect ratio looks nice and fills up my screen with minimal letter boxing. The color design looks a lot sharper and cleaner on Blu-ray than it did in the theater, this could be due to the fact that I watched the 2D Blu-ray and not the 3D version. The packaging is a standard single disc Blu-ray box with no digital copy. The audio tracks include: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Espanol: Dolby Digital 5.1, and Stereo 2.0. Subtitles are available in both English SDH and Espanol.
The highlight of this Blu-ray set is the Access: Three Musketeers feature provides a very detailed and thorough look at the creation of the movie and includes a boatload of trivia and facts about the film, the history of the Musketeers and more. It’s very well done and nicely integrated. There’s also a separate Audio Commentary Anderson and the other Producers.
I like this Blu-ray, the movie doesn’t bug me as much in a home setting as it did it the Theater. The casting is all wrong, but as I said in my review I’m a sucker for all things Musketeer. The Blu-ray release is fairly basic and doesn’t have that “wow” factor. It is a rental at best. The Three Musketeers is available on DVD, Special Edition Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray now.
- Movie – C
- Audio/Video Presentation – B
- Extras – B
Final Overall Grade C