Europe is on the brink of war with the Duke of Buckingham and Cardinal Richelieu both using a beautiful assassin in a double crossing plot to overthrow a young and naive King Louis XIII. Luckily for the King, an aspiring musketeer named D'Artagnan unites with three renown outlaw musketeers to put an end to this treachery.
All for one and one for all, the well known slogan of the musketeers, and why is it so well known you might ask? Well, it's easy to remember when the story of the three musketeers is made into a new film at least once a decade. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the three major incarnations that came before this one; THE THREE MUSKETEERS with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK with Leo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons and John Malcovich and the terribly underrated THE MUSKETEER with Justin Chambers, Mena Suvari and Tim Roth (which I consequently re-watched a couple weeks ago still loving every second of it). Of course despite all this musketeer love, I still couldn't help but ask myself "is a new one really necessary?" Well of course it's not necessary, but I still had a blast watching it.
The storyline is interesting here and though there are many changes to the lore that have become a questionable topic of discussion, I personally enjoyed the ride. If video games like FINAL FANTASY, which take place in the old sword and sorcery days, can devise a means of creating airships then why would it be so hard to believe that Da Vinci had one mind? Personally I'm of a mind to go with the flow on this one. And speaking of FINAL FANTASY, I bring it up simply because of the exchange that takes place between the two rival ships mid air, is reminiscent of a similar scene in FINAL FANTASY 2. A sly wink in the game's direction? I'm not sure, but I was wearing a sly grin nonetheless.
The characters went through quite a change as well, but again, if you're going to retell a story then by all means explore new options that may or may not stretch the realm of reason. Look at Robin Hood, how many times have we seen or heard that story? But if you tweak it a bit each time, changing the flavour just a bit, you end up with a winning recipe. Milady De Winter a sexy assassin? Sweet! Athos, Porthos and Aramis each have a deadly field of specialty like pretending to be captured by the enemy? Loved it! Turning Buckingham into an actual character for a change, albeit an slick, evil one at that? Yes please! I can even get behind Percy Jackson as D'Artagnan (he was much better than Chris O'Donnell at the very least). I much rather preferred the character of Planchet in THE MUSKETEER rather than the bumbling fool they had here simply for comic relief, but hey, you can't win 'em all.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS was a wondrous surprise and guilty pleasure as far as selling the same old story goes. I don't think the 3D was at all necessary, but then again, it never really is. There's a lot of hate going around for this film on the account of Paul W.S Anderson, but to the haters I have this to say, "GET OVER IT PEOPLE!" So the RESIDENT EVIL flicks aren't everything the fan boys wanted them to be, who cares? So the guy puts Milla in nearly all of his movies now, she's his wife (and just happens to look very hot in a corset) and we could do far worse than Milla on the screen (I personally love Milla so I don't get the hate on that front). Mr. Anderson did a fine job, the story was solid, the scenery and architecture were flawless and that final sword battle between D'Artagnan and Rochefort was pretty epic. Also, the flying machines looked amazing, Orlando Bloom stole the show as Buckingham and the more personable approach to the King and Queen was also as welcome as it was fun. There are many needless remakes going around these days but this is not one of them. I could gripe about the PG rating (sigh) as I could've went for a more serious atmosphere, but beyond that it was still very engaging and above all else, fun.