The Musketeer

"Bad"

The Musketeer Review


And now the high-flying Hong Kong style of filmmaking has made its way down to the classics, and it isn't pretty. This time out the nod to Asia goes by way of France in the excruciating bland and lukewarm production of The Musketeer, a version of Dumas's The Three Musketeers. By bringing in popular Asian actor/stunt coordinator Xing Xing Xiong -- whose only prior American attempts at stunt choreography have been the laughable Van Damme vehicle Double Team and the Dennis Rodman cinematic joke Simon Sez -- our Musketeers are thrown into the air to do their fighting. The end result is a tepid and dull action/adventure rip-off that stinks of Indiana Jones and bad Asian kung fu.

The story is so simple my grandmother could have adapted the screenplay. D'Artagnan (Justin Chambers) is the vengeful son of a slain Musketeer. He travels to Paris to join the Royal Musketeers and find the man that killed his parents. In Paris, he meets the cunning Cardinal Richelieu (Stephen Rea), who is trying to overthrow the King, and Richelieu's man-in-black associate Febre (Tim Roth), the killer of his folks. He finds the Musketeers in Paris disbanded and drunk, so he rounds up Aramis (Nick Moran), Athos (Jan Gregor Kremp) and Porthos (Steven Spiers) to free the Musketeer's wrongfully imprisoned leader Treville from the King's prison. D'Artagnan and his new frisky love interest/chambermaid Francesca (Mena Suvari) play footsy and coo at each other as the Cardinal hunts down the Musketeers until finally the Queen (Catherine Deneuve) ends up being captured by the menancing Febre, forcing the Musketeers to regroup, with D'Artagnan leading the charge, and save the day.

Director Peter Hyams (End of Days) obviously wanted to blend eastern and western filmmaking styles, but here it's a disaster. One problem is that, in reality, most eastern films have taken their lead from western ones. Jet Li's High Risk is a rip-off of Die Hard -- not the other way around. Ironically, there is awfully little swordplay or action in the film at all -- maybe ten minutes of swashbuckling spread over five scenes. Most Asian action films carry the bulk of their production with 20- to 30-minute action sequences, because they know the scenes have to carry the picture.

The Musketeer instead weighs itself down with a predictable and monotonous screenplay by Gene Quintano (Sudden Death), horrible acting by Stephen Rea and Tim Roth, and the prosaic attempt of Justin Chambers (The Wedding Planner) to deliver his mousy self as a leader. Chambers' D'Artangnan isn't a Musketeer -- he's a Mouseketeer! And Hyam's use of candles and torches to light the grime and filth of 17th century Paris are well-noted, but that's the only standout in an overall flat production.

Roll out the barrel... the barrel of fun!



The Musketeer

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th September 2001

Box Office USA: $26.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $27.1M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 88

IMDB: 4.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as The Queen, as Francesca Bonacieux, as Cardinal Richelieu, as Febre the Man in Black, as D'Artagnan, Bill Treacher as Bonacieux, Daniel Mesguich as King Louis XIII, as Rochefort, Richelieu Henchman, as Aramis, as Porthos, Jan-Gregor Kremp as Athos, Jeremy Clyde as Lord Buckingham, as Treville, Head of the Musketeers, as Planchet, Tsilla Chelton as Madame Lacross

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.