Milla Jovovich steals Musketeers’ thunder
We doubt if Paul W.S. Anderson’s 2011 version of “The Three Musketeers” was what Alexandre Dumas had in mind when he wrote about D’Artagnan and his swashbuckling buddies in the 1840s.
Those unfamiliar with the many screen adaptations of the French author’s well-loved novel would probably wonder how a quartet of seemingly invincible swordsmen could be so formidable and yet susceptible to the deliciously sinister machinations of Milla Jovovich, who, as Milady de Winter, kicks ass—thespic and otherwise—better than any actor who shares scenes with her. Eat your heart out, Angelina Jolie!
There’s more fire power than star power in the adventure tale’s latest incarnation, with cocky D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) teaming up with vain French King Louis XIII’s (Freddie Fox) disbanded and down-on-their-luck Musketeers: Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans).
Together, the fearless foursome must show courage—and a lot of pluck—in the face of formidable adversity as they go on a quest to protect the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) reputation, retrieve a contentious piece of jewelry in London from the Duke of Buckinghan (Orlando Bloom), avert the threat of war between France and England—and regain lost glory!
But, victory doesn’t come easy for the brawny, wacky quartet, especially with the devious Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) and his henchmen, Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), pulling the dastardly strings. Worse, the baddies are also getting a lot of help from the deadly double agent, Milady—who just happens to be Athos’ former wife and Buckingham’s lover! True, Jovovich’s screen time is limited, but she makes every scene count—and how.
But, it’s really not the gorgeous actress’ fault if her lusciously nasty portrayal draws attention away from the movie’s lead actors and its supposedly action-packed exposition. The production’s filmic focus comes undone as it puts more emphasis on distracting narrative detours and implausible visual gimmicks (flying ships, anyone?) to perchance replicate the action-comedy-fantasy appeal—as well as the box-office cachet of “The Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Alas, a film’s special effects, winking humor and sci-fi spectacle can only do so much if its lead characters appear more like crowd-pleasing marionettes than “relatable” heroes!
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