6/21/12

THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1993) - REVIEW


Talk about a 90's cast...

Yes Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Chris O'Donnell and Oliver Platt face-off against Tim Curry's villainous Cardinal Richelieu in this Disney-produced Hollywood adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas tale.

No, I never pictured Jack Bauer as a musketeer either but hey, he makes a good Athos. Actually, the three musketeers work pretty well despite not matching the characters from the book to the letter. Charlie Sheen's Aramis is far too 'winningly' jokey and Oliver Platt's Porthos has one one-liner too many I think but on the whole you buy that these guys could be a team, and that's the main thing. The plot takes key elements from Dumas' novel but reduces the plot to a more simplistic good people vs bad people kind of thing which is a bit of a shame but considering they're telling this whole story in under 2 hours, that's fair enough.

The film starts off surprisingly well actually. Chris O'Donnell, of... Robin fame, makes a terrific D'Artagnan and captures the cocky fighting spirit of the character perfectly. His early encounters with the musketeers are a lot of fun and the characters' progression from sworn enemies to sworn friends feels natural.

Then there's Tim Curry...

The man is clearly living in a different movie.

In fact, Curry's Richelieu is so OTT in this he might as well have been animated. The guy is basically a cartoon. He brings lols by being goofily panto-esque throughout but it's impossible to take the guy seriously or find the character intimidating in any way. Besides, Richelieu was never meant to be a straight-up, moustache-twirlingly evilicious bad guy: sure he's a dick and no big fan of the king but he tries to screw him over in subtle ways, always keeping his rivalry playful and respectful in the meantime. This is a hit-and-miss movie with the cast reflecting that quite well. The musketeers are good and Michael Wincott makes a fab Rochefort but Richelieu's just silly, Julie Delpy is shockingly awkward as Constance and Rebecca De Mornay is wasted as Milady, who should have been a poisonous presence until the very end but instead is quickly disposed off. Oh and the king and queen: yawn.

And where's the Duke Of Buckingham?

As a fan of the classic story, it's possible I'm being a bit too critical but although this 1993 effort is no match for the 1948 Gene Kelly version, The Three Musketeers is still a fun flick and has a lot going for it. It never feels like THE definitive musketeers movie but presents a very entertaining and enjoyable enough ride that it doesn't really matter. Hell, at least there aren't flying boats in this one!

That's some 2011 shit right there.

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