The Three Musketeers
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Milla Jovovich, Milla Jovovich, Milla Jovovich, Milla Jovovich, Milla Jovovich
Directed by: Mr Milla Jovovich
With director Paul W.S. Andersonís track record ranging from Ďabysmalí to Ďplease kill me nowí, itís with some trepidation that we approach his latest Ďfilmí. All the usual hallmarks of the director are present and correct Ė pouty seductive female character played by his wife Milla Jovovich, plenty of slow motion and, last but not least, the ability to induce a coma in his audience.
So, itís, like, the seventeenth century, right, and itís set in France, yeah, and thereís these, like, musketeers, which are these guys who are really good at using swords and stuff. But theyíre all bummed out because they were tricked by that bloke from Lord of the Rings and that bird from Resident Evil. And thereís this evil pope bloke who wants to trick King Louis into giving him power over the country and get into a massive scrap with the rest of Europe. And thereís this new kid who wants to be, like, a muske- swords bloke, and the bloke from Lord of the Rings has a massive boat with a hot air balloon attached to it. And the bad guy from Casino Royale is in it.
The Three Musketeers is less of a film and more a series of sword fights strung together with slow motion. Perhaps whatís most surprising is how much restraint is exercised on the part of Paul W.S. Anderson Ė there are some moments when the characters, like, talk and have conversations and set up the rest of the plot and stuff. But donít worry, these things are dealt with quickly and efficiently and the sword fights soon resume.
For a film set in seventeenth century France, there are surprisingly few actual French people in the film. The actors are all American, English and German, with none of them even bothering to attempt a regional accent. Maybe thatís because the audience would have to listen to the dialogue instead of gazing in wonder at the locations used for filming. After all, we donít want the audience to have to bother listening and having to decipher the incredibly complex French accent, do we?
The Three Musketeers limps from one ridiculous setpiece to another, such as Milla Jovovich abseiling down a building, or Milla Jovovich sliding on her knees underneath a volley of spiked balls, or Milla Jovovich leaping through a collection of razor-sharp wires. Thereís something else about musketeers trying to save the king from blundering into a war with England, but thatís all window dressing to footage of Milla Jovovich getting undressed and leaping around places.
Of all the hateful characters, Logan Lermanís DíArtagnan deserves special mention, if only because heís so especially irritating. After being in France for five minutes, he manages to get into four duels with the best swordsmen in the land and assumes that he can beat them all. Whatís worse is that the musketeers mistake his arrogance for talent, subjecting the audience to yet more scenes with the brat. The audience is expected to root for him simply because he wants to be a musketeer Ė even expected to support him when he challenges a man to a duel for insulting his horse. This is not character, this is poor writing.
Being a Paul W.S. Anderson film, The Three Musketeers naturally ends on a cliffhanger, lacking any sort of conclusion or even a pay-off for the previous two hoursí suffering. The credits might as well start rolling halfway through the film for all the closure the story provides, making The Three Musketeers a complete waste of time all round.
In short, The Three Musketeers is long, pointless, poorly written and so full of slow motion itís like watching it underwater. In fact, itís probably Paul W.S. Andersonís best film to date.