Never mind what critics are saying.
It’s high time someone outta Hollywood gave Alexander Dumas’s classic The Three Musketeers a steampunk twist, and director Paul W.S. Anderson (who did Event Horizon, and a whole buncha Resident Evil movies)’s take on it is bloody brilliant.
I was already pretty impressed when I saw the movie trailer several months back (Airship! In 17th century France!), and by the end of its 110 minutes, The Three Musketeers had me completely sold.
The plot’s a fairly faithful rendition of the original, at least up to hickboy D’Artagnan’s encounter with the titular trio in Paris (if you discount the crazy awesome hijinks Athos, Porthos and Aramis get up to in the first 15 minutes of the film), but where it deviates, it does so in a good way.
In terms of casting, Milla Jovovich proved simply stunning as Milady, falling into the role of cunning temptress and witty rogue with easy grace, while Orlando Bloom was suitably slimy as Lord Buckingham.
It was nice to see him playing a decidedly unpleasant part for once, and he delivered it with panache, poofy hair and all.
I wasn’t entirely impressed with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson)’s performance as D’Artagnan, but Matthew MacFayden, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans were great as the core three.
One thing that really stood out was the music. It was beautifully composed, and appropriately paired with the action on screen. And speaking of action, the sword fights were breathtakingly spectacular – it’s hard to describe the choreography in mere words.
Admittedly, calling it a steampunk film might be something of a misnomer. It’s at best steampunk inspired, if the airships and gadgets are any indication, but the real elements of steampunk – the fashion, trappings and stylistic elements were few and far between.
Still, that’s just one minor detail, and it’s a detail that’s easily overshadowed by everything else on screen. The sets – from the dank, underground vaults of Venice to the palace grounds in Paris – were designed to almost faultless perfection and the wardrobe, while not entirely suffused with cogs and gears, resonated with enough period chic to be charming.
A truly fine feat of film making, and great fun all round, especially if you’re a geek.