Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Three Musketeers

Many movies are messes, unkempt things with weaknesses sticking out of them like unbrushed hair and dirt all over them and key bits in tatters. The fact that a film is a mess, however, does not mean it won't be fun.

After all, there are many kinds of messes.

The Three Musketeers is a very big mess that also just proved to be very big fun, at least for me. (The reactions among our group of eight were highly variable and ranged from "I can't believe I wasted my time on this" to "I loved absolutely every second of it.") The frequently silly plot was a mess, but the dialog was far worse. The steampunk tech was a mess that disregarded all real-world concerns. The comic relief was entirely too predictable. And so on; you get the idea.

Yet I enjoyed the movie.

Much of the acting was scenery chewing, but not all of it. Milla Jovovich was a pleasure to watch, delivering a relatively subdued performance, given the action and dialog, and actually showing a range of expressions. Matthew Macfayden and Ray Stevenson were reliably good. Orlando Bloom was better as a silly bad guy than he's ever been as the hero.

Sure, the younger cast members generally performed about as well as cardboard cut-outs of their faces, but they were also not particularly offensive.

The film's look and basic good heart, however, carried the day. A diver emerging from a Venetian canal. A hidden Da Vinci vault. Airships with cannons. Swordfights in slow-mo in a courtyard with peasants cheering the action. Silly fun, but fun indeed.

If you are looking for that fall film that will challenge your mind and enrich your soul, definitely skip this one. If you're willing to snack on some extremely pretty empty calories, though--and tonight I was--check out The Three Musketeers.

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