Exile and possibly death are in the cards for the Queen of France in this edgy cloak-and-dagger adventure based on Alexandre Dumas' unrivaled tale of THE THREE MUSKETEERS and their reckless, romantic friend D'Artagnan. Sup... more »ernatural powers and dark mystical forces add an exciting twist to this classic tale.« less
"I'm a big Dumas fan so I was looking forward to this but;
1. The writers have taken too many liberties with the original story. If they had called it something else and not associated it with the Dumas story it would have still been dreck.
2. I'm not sure what language this is in, but I'm unable to view it in its original language with subtitles, so it sounds like a bad kung-fu movie.
3. I didn't think there could be any worse portrayal of this story when I saw the Disney/Sutherland/Sheen version until I saw the John Woo Musketeer version. Now I have seen a new low.
Avoid at all costs if you are a Dumas fan."
Some things you shouldn't mess with...
R. Kyle | USA | 06/15/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Dumas is one, particularly if you cannot do better. The authors tried to add some supernatural elements to this story and ended up with a long, disjointed film which probably would have been better as a two-parter. Further, the film is not in English. If you watch in English, the characters' lip movements and the dialogue you hear are so disjointed the effect becomes laughable. The swordplay is beyond unrealistic as well---just one of those extended play battles where the directors clearly have no clue what an actual sword battle is. Give me the original movie."
Too many major creative problems derail this version of the
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/13/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
""D'Artagnan et les trois mousquetaires," pawned off on this side of the Atlantic as "The 4 Musketters," represents a most curious approach to the classic tale by Alexandre Dumas père. Actually, that is too kind, because this 2005 French film makes a bunch of mistakes. But since there are four musketeers, let us limit ourselves to the four biggest mistakes:
First, the film is dubbed. Not "dubbed" as in you can listen to it in English if you want to refrain from reading the subtitles because they are speaking French, but rather "dubbed" as in that is your only option. Remember all those dubbed foreign films you used to make fun of when you were growing up? Well, the dubbing in this film sounds that ludicrous, and the result is that your are unnecessarily distanced from the film as soon as the characters start talking.
Second, this film is the attempt to do the martial arts version of the story. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that idea, but the execution here is not particularly inspired. I did not check out the credits but whoever was responsible for the wirework in this film must have been relatively inexperienced in that regard because this is nowhere near the state of the art in that area of fight choreography. The net result is another major distraction because even if you accept the idea that this kind of action can work in this movie (which I am willing to go along with), the execution makes it seem like a bad idea.
Third, the film gets Emanuelle Béart ("Manon of the Spring") to play Milady Winter, which is a good thing, but then decides that the character is not simply evil, wicked, bad, mean and nasty, inside she is possessed by devil. I understand that Cardinal Richelieu (Tchéky Karyo) is the villain of the piece and interested more in power politics than spreading the gospel, but I think working so close to Satan is a bit much. There is also a way in which it undercut the whole idea that Milady Winter was a villainess, because now she is succeeding because she is Satan's spawn and not because she is a woman with a brain carving out her own little place in the world at the expense of every man she can take advantage of along the way.
Fourth, the final straw for me is that film, which despite the above, does try to strike to the key elements of the novel, ends too soon. Most versions of "The Three Musketeers" never get to the whole trial of Milady Winter (I never saw it until Richard Lester's "The Four Musketeers" in 1974, which is the point that I understood most versions of the novel were always condensed versions). But that is not the end of the story, which includes my favorite moment, which is when Richelieu drags D'Artagnan before him for the death of Milady and our young hero hands over the Cardinal's carte blanche order, "By my order, and for the good of the state, the bearer has done what has been done." Having sat through this 210-minute film without having become engaged in the narrative, having the credits role before getting to what I consider to be the "good part" only confirmed my impulse to round down rather than up.
The cast has Vincent Elbaz as D'Artagnan, Gregory Gadebois as Porthos, Gregori Derangre as Aramis, and Heino Ferch as Athos, and the main thing to be said for them is that they look nice but never strike me as being particular dashing. The whole idea is that you watch these guys and you want to be D'Artagnan and run off to be a Musketeer, but that never happens (the old guys in "The Man in the Iron Mask" had more panache). Stefania Rocca does a nice job as Anne D'Autriche as does Diana Amft as Constance, and since the problem is the way Béart's character is written and not her performance, the actresses come out ahead of the actors in this one. Tritan Ulloa's Louis XIII is not portrayed as a comically inept monarch for once and Matthew Chambers as the Duke of Buckingham does a decent job of keeping his character in the real world, which just makes the whole idea of Milady as a possessed ninja stand out even more as a strategic and tactical error."
See the '74 Version; avoid this one at all costs.
R. Sardrena | shrinking tributary in Brazil | 09/18/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an admirer of both Dumas' novel and the lovely Emmanuelle Beart for many years. I was therefore overjoyed when I saw this film on the shelf. Sadly, it is the very worst sort of dreck. The filmmakers decided to "improve upon" Dumas' story by introducing supernatural sorcery, and Hong Kong wire work for the swordfights. Madame Beart portrays Milady De Winter as Satanically-possessed (I must assume that the producers were too). The film is only available as a dubbed-in English version, which adds a measure of hilarity. There are so many versions of Dumas' novel, but only one that is worth seeing: the Three/Four Musketeers films of 1973/74, starring Charlton Heston and Michael York."
Comme ci comme ša
Michel Gaston | 06/27/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is a surreal aspect to this version of the Dumas classic that might remind one a bit of "Le Pacte des Loups" ("The Brotherhood of the Wolf). Interestingly enough, similar complaints were made of the length of that movie and some of the effects. In any case, the plotline holds up well but the dubbed English version is almost painful to hear. Both Emmanuelle Béart and Tchéky Karyo can speak Engish- at least they should've been allowed to use their own voices with English speaking actors OR let the film stand with the actors in it (who were good!) and leave it in French with subtitles. Dubbing isn't simply an annoying distraction but it also impedes the performance. Delivery of a line, nuances of the voice- all that is lost in dubbing and diminishes the effect the actors are trying to create. Regardless, the film did have its moments and if an original language version could be made, I'd jump my rating up to 4 or 4.5 in a snap. A Dumas purist might not like the movie anyway but it was entertaining and did reflect a lot of the spirit of the Musketeers. In addition to the fine performances by Béart and Karyo, the actors playing d'Artagnan and Constance also did an excellent job."