Among the classics by Alexander Dumas, the Three Musketeers seems to be the favorite among movie makers. Every decade, there is an updated version out for release. As the technical wizardry improve by leaps and bounds, it also gives an opportunity for the film fraternity to revisit this classic with stylized pyrotechnics and action choreography to keep the audience thrilled and glued to the seat. The latest offering from the director Paul W. S. Anderson is one such attempt.
Paul has tweaked the movie at two places - in the beginning and the end. The beginning shows the three musketeers - Athos(Matthew Macfayden), Aramis(Luke Evans) and Porthos(Ray Stevenson) teaming up with Milady(Milla Jovovich) to steal the blue prints of the war machine (a flying ship), a work of Leonardo Da Vinci from Venise. The subsequent betrayal of Milady by switching sides with Duke of Buckingham(Orlando Bloom) makes Athos give up hope on love and women. The ending shows the possibilities of a sequel with the return of the principal cast.
The middle part of the movie almost faithfully adapts the journey of D'Artagnan(Logan Lerman) from a simple country boy to a musketeer. He tries to save the face of the queen who is constantly at loggerheads with Cardinal Richelieu(Christoph Waltz). D'Artagnan gets involved because he is smitten by the lady in the waiting for the queen named Constance(Gabrielle Wilde). D'Artagnan also has an axe to grind against Rochefort(Mads Mikkelson).
Paul chooses an amazing ensemble of able performers. But the movie which starts off with a bang in Venice soon lose the interest of the audience except of the occasional computer aided stunt choreography. But towards the latter part of the movie, Paul tries to redeems himself with the thrills. Action choreography and computer graphics are the two things working for the movie. The former is preposterous and the latter is evident. But the combination of both shows the creative mind of the director attempting to woo the audience.
Matthew Macfayden as Athos and Orlando Bloom as Duke of Buckingham stands out. Athos is the complex yet stable character most of the movie goers will sympathize with. It is safe in the hands of Matthew. Orlando gives a never-seen-before interpretation of the Duke of Buckingham, bordering on evil and self-centered. It is a delight to watch Orlando in action. Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu underplays the role to the extent the audience forgets about him.
If you have no other choices, go for this... for the action.