"I like Paul W.S. Anderson. I like his movies. There I said it; so glad I got that off my chest. The Resident Evil franchise has its haters, but somebody out there is watching it so I can’t be alone on this one. He’s made plenty of mistakes along the way (AVP, Soldier), but Death Race and Event Horizon were excellent time wasters, and marrying Milla Jovovich must have its perks - I wonder if she runs in slow-mo at home as well? The Three Musketeers ride again in Anderson’s cumbersome 3D remake, bringing with it a cast of familiar faces, bombastic explosions and airships aplenty.
Matthew Macfadyen brings Athos (moody, stilted, dull) to ‘life’, Luke Evans plays Aramis (casually cool), and Ray Stevenson channels Oliver Reed in his portrayal of Pathos. Logan Lerman makes for an intolerably arrogant D’Artagnan and Orlando Bloom hams it up as the Duke of Buckingham with a scene-stealing performance matched only by his barnet. If that’s not enough, Christoph Waltz does his best not to look too embarrassed as the dreaded Cardinal Richelieu, and Milla Jovovich (surprise, surprise) takes on the role of Milady in tight fitting costumes and show-stopping slow-mo numbers. Freddie Fox is one of the films few highlights as a bumbling King Louis XIII, and even James Corden shows up, but quite why he bothered is beyond me.
Rarely does a film get it so wrong. The Three musketeers is blessed with action ripped straight from the Resident Evil films, and cringe worthy dialogue even The Wayans Brothers would be ashamed of. It’s a mess of a movie from the word go, hampered by poor casting, weak scripting and unavoidable 3D mayhem. Paul W.S. Anderson sure knows how to deliver an action sequence though, and that’s the films one and only true saving grace, even if he does over egg the action at every opportunity. Then of course there’s the Milla Effect, and it’s easy to see why he affords his main squeeze so much screen time. Few action heroines fill the screen as well as her, but if The Three Musketeers proves one thing, it’s that maybe sometimes you shouldn’t take your home work with you – not unless you’re facing a zombie apocalypse of course.
The Three Musketeers is tired, humourless and embarrassing for all concerned - and I like Paul W.S. Anderson. You have to hand it to the man though, he even finds time to set up a sequel, and we all know it’s going to happen." AW