For the second time in my life, I went to a movie alone. For some reason that I could not possibly fathom, not a single one of my so-called friends wanted to go see a poorly reviewed action-adventure comedy that was a remake of about a dozen films before it and starred nobody important.
I arrived and purchased my single, loneliness-implying ticket, and the cashier says “just one?” voice filled with such pity that my confidence shriveled up inside itself. I eked out some half-hearted reply, walked inside, and made my way to the middle seat of the best row in the entire place. Apparently going to the movies by yourself means living like a king!
I then proceeded to watch the most enjoyably movie of the fall season so far. This was crap so spectacular that it sprayed my eyes with constant, unabashéd, gooey glee, never ceasing its barrage for long enough to take itself remotely seriously. I barely know how to review this piece of utter joy, so I’m mostly going to list all the things that make The Three Musketeers the most awesome piece of haberdashery-infused, swordplay-ridden cinema in recent memory. Step aside pirates, both Depp and triple X, because there’s a new kid in town, and it doesn’t matter if he’s just a cocky pretty-boy who’ll never succeed at the box office, because he’s won Russ Nickel’s heart.
The movie starts off with lazy and ridiculous introductions that set the tone for the rest of the film to come. Each character gets a tongue-in-cheek bit right at the beginning, showing off how cool they are, and then the screen flashes their name. It’s much easier than having any sort of subtle introduction or characterization, and it leads to such beautiful things as having Aramis land on a ship, beat up a bunch of people, then turn to the prostitute in the back who asks who he is. “I’m not a priest,” he says, to which she replies “I’m not a real lady.” Then, Aaramis, in all his chivalrous, musketeer glory, says “I’ve got ten minutes.” Screen freeze. Aramis.
While the introductions, dialogue, and acting really help bring the movie together, the sword fights are what make it worth your five dollar matinee price. In the first fight, the musketeers face off against dozens and dozens of the evil Cardinal’s guardsmen, and at one point, musketeer Athos stabs this dude and determines that it would be too much effort to simply pull the sword from his belly, so instead, he freakin’ headbutts the guy with such fury that he flies off the sword, freeing it to be immediately placed in another unsuspecting enemy.
In the middle of the battle, D’Artagnan, the young musketeer hopeful, hits on this super hot blonde girl with a few charming lines, initially asking her for her name. She says “Constance,” and he replies, “sounds very…steadfast.” At the end of the fight when he tries to woo her to completion, she rejects him with “I suggest you stick to swordplay. In the battle of wits, you, sir, are unarmed.” That’s a lot of lip coming from someone whose character name is literally “blonde.” It’s pretty cute I guess, except for the fact that it’s in no way applicable. D’Artagnan is nothing but witty throughout the film. It’s totally apparent that the writers had to come up with some reason for the girl not to fall for the sexy swordsman immediately, but if wit were really the deciding factor, her shirt would’ve been off after a couple of sentences.
I guess it’s only PG-13 though, so, as much as I might have desired that outcome, I knew it could never happen. But we do get the next best thing. When the hot love interest undergoes her requisite capture, she is tied to the front of an airship, and the ropes are wound tightly just below her bosom, serving as a medieval pushup bra that works splendidly with her +3 Corset of Extreme Cleavage. The fact that she’s in the clutches of a giant skeleton that serves as the figurehead at the prow of the ship only makes it that much better. Ah, The Three Musketeers, you know me so well.
Remember that Cardinal I mentioned earlier? Well he serves as villain number one for the film, and most of the plot circles around his dastardly scheme to plant the queen’s diamonds on villain number two, the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom), in order to incite a war that would require the public to give the Cardinal power since the boy king isn’t old enough to rule in a time of battle. The king is a ridiculous character who cares more for fashion than strategy, and in order to assure us, the audience, of the Cardinal’s unmatched, vicious intellect, they give us a scene of him playing the king in a game of chess. The Cardinal puts the king in check, and when the flustered king doesn’t know what to do, the Cardinal wisely says, “The king is the most important piece, but he is vulnerable. He needs protection. May I suggest you castle him?”
I’ll let that sink in for a moment. I was the only one in the theater who cracked up, gaining me a slew of angry looks, but I know that if any of you chess players out there had been watching with me, you’d get just as much of a kick out of it as I did because…
You can’t castle out of check.
It’s a pretty important rule. So much for the Cardinal being frighteningly intelligent.
Before this review draws to a close, I simply must say that Orlando Bloom is better here than he ever has been in his life. He was born to be a sneering, mustached, over-the-top villain. I’ve never thought he could act, but that’s just the point here. Subtlety is tossed out the window and completely ridiculous pure evil climbs the tied bed sheets of melodrama into the bedroom of entertainment. I cannot wait for Bloom to be cast in more villainous roles. I’ll finally be able to unshield my eyes and enjoy his performances.
Bad guy number three was great too, because he had an eye-patch. And anybody with an eye-patch is so totally evil.
The only bad thing about this movie is that the score was pretty standard. With everything else being so out-of-this-world, I figured the film would have a score to match, but it was so bland that I was actually aware of its blandness, and that’s never good. Even still, I can’t wait to see it again, so I give this film
Another amusing aspect of the movie is when Aramis says something confusing and D’Artagnan says “French,” the way we say “English” when we want someone to dumb it down for us. It’s a little weird to have French characters speaking English to begin with, but altering their idioms to draw attention to the fact simply seems unnecessary.