I'm of an age when I can remember with fondness the last attempt to bring The Three Musketeers to the screen, the 1977 version directed by Richard Lester, so when I saw the trailer of Paul W.S. Anderson's steampunky take of the book I thought, 'that's for me!'.
Let's cut to the chase. For a film to be any good (for me) it has to have a decent plot, decent acting, decent directing and decent cinematography. The cinematography in this new Musketeers film is excellent, the rest is dire.
I'll begin with the plot. Look, the book the film is based on is a classic so it can't be difficult to fashion a halfway decent screenplay. WRONG! The screenwriters have ditched all of Dumas' characterisation and tension and substituted vacuous pantomime-esque nonsense. The plot holes are HUGE (I think if I tried to explain the worst involving Buckingham and Milady and the Queen's jewels I'd lose the will to live) so I have to imagine that this wasn't just carelessness on their part but sheer indifference. Those involved were just plain contemptuous of their audience's intelligence.
And the acting ... what fucking acting? Third prize goes to Orlando Bloom as Buckingham (there are mitigating factors: no man should be obliged to act while wearing such a stupid quiff) who should be obliged by statute not to play villains, he's about as threatening as blancmange. Second prize goes to Gabriella Wilde who played (played?) Constance: this girl CANNOT ACT ... she is Valium made flesh. But tonight's star prize for worst actor in a Dumas adaptation goes to James Corden who plays the Musketeers' servant Planchet. A word of advice to Mr Corden: you are not funny and even when bird shit is dropping on your face the effect on the audience is to cheer for the bird. Roy Kinnear you most certainly are not.
It was awful. BUT the special effects were great, the designer who dreamt up the air-ships inspired and I am sure that the film will be well received by the many fans of The Pirate of the Caribbean.
Makes you wanna weep. And the worst thing is that the end of the film suggests that there's gonna be a sequel. ARGHHHHHHHH!