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Three Musketeers, The (3D)


Stars: Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom, Mads Mikkelsen, Freddie Fox, Juno Temple, James Corden, Til Schweiger, Gabriella Wilde

Director: Paul W S Anderson

Stuffed with almost as many anachronisms as the English fleet musters airships (yes, you read that right), this is still a pretty enjoyable riff on the 1974 film The Four Musketeers: the Queen's Diamonds. There are lovely settings and stupendous production design, and the action fairly fizzes along.

Fly in the ointment, alas, is the diminutive Lerman (of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief fame). He swashes a fair buckle, but is otherwise too small, too American and too modern to convince at the centre of things.

That said, the film has lots of acting strengths: the musketeers are all good, especially Macfadyen as the taciturn, brooding, rumble-voiced Athos. Together, he, Porthos (Stevenson) and Aramis (Evans) are more than a match for a trio of UK/continental villains - Waltz (as Richelieu), Bloom (as Buckingham) and Mikkelsen (as Rochefort).

Jovovich is a serviceable Milady de Winter, Wilde pretty as Constance (who doesn't die, at least not in this film ; the ending blatantly paves the way for a sequel), while Corden waddles genially in the footsteps of the great Roy Kinnear as Planchet.

Best of the supporting cast, however, is Fox, who has the deceptively effete King Louis down to a T: an exceptionally elegant interpretation of a difficult role.

There's a dazzling array of weaponry that Alexandre Dumas can only have dreamed of, although traditional swordfights against armies of the Cardinal's men are not forgotten. If you can bear the plethora of such 21st century phrases as double-agent and up the ante and relax your brain, you should enjoy this one.

David Quinlan

Germany/UK/USA 2011. UK Distributor: Entertainment-one. Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 08 Oct 2011