The Three Musketeers (2011)

three musketeers poster 2011 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some good visuals

Story looses nuances and characters are lost

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Three Musketeers

Studio: Impact Pictures

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  September 1, 2011 (Germany)/October 12, 2011 (UK)/October 21, 2011 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13


All for one and one for…how’s it go?

D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has dreamed of being one of the musketeers of King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox).  Headed to Paris, he encounters Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) and Captain Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) of the private guard of Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz).  Little does D’Artagnan know that Milady de Winter and Richelieu are plotting against the King and stirring up war with England by plotting the king against the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom).  D’Artagnan meets Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans)…esteemed members of the musketeers recently wronged by Milady and the Duke of Buckingham.  Teaming with the three musketeers, D’Artagnan must set out to retrieve the necklace of the Queen (Juno Temple) from the Duke of Buckingham to prevent war.


I’m no angel…

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, The Three Musketeers adapts the classic 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas.  The film was released to largely negative reviews and fared poorly at the box office.

I like The Three Musketeers’ story, but always find it extremely difficult.  With tons of subplots and intricate plotting, it isn’t an easy story to adapt…add to this that Paul W. S. Anderson is one of today’s worst big directors, and you have a real problem in the mix.


Are you a good cardinal or a bad cardinal?

The Three Musketeers is extremely complex.  You have characters undermining each other (Richelieu and Milady are using Buckingham to get Richelieu power over the king) and you also have tons of implied relationships that generally aren’t directly stated.  Subtlety isn’t the nature of this film or Anderson, so the adaptation probably wasn’t the wisest move.  Surprisingly, Anderson mostly did follow the book for the outline of the script and worked to turn it into more of an action.

The cast is pretty strong.  I like many of the major players in the film, but find that they don’t have much to work with script-wise.  By putting action over substance, the actors are done a disservice.  Anderson once again puts his wife Milla Jovovich in the meatiest role of Milady, but Christoph Waltz is more of a scene stealer as the subtle Richelieu.


Hey, what’s with this hunchback?

This version of The Three Musketeers is all about the visuals which at times do really pop.  The movie ties in to the popular “Da Vinci” trend by having the musketeers and Milady tracking old Da Vinci plans for weapons of war.  The movie incorporates airships for the big fight near the end (on the rooftops of Notre Dame), but despite the eye candy, it can’t make up for a great story lost in the action.

The Three Musketeers was a disappointment, but an expected one.  I didn’t go into The Three Musketeers with much hope and didn’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  It was what it was.  The only saving grace I can say for the film is that it did follow the novel (mostly) which was a pleasant surprise…it just doesn’t work here.  Jovovich argued that the movie was marketed incorrectly, but I think that Paul W. S. Anderson just struck again.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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