There have been plenty of film adaptations of the classic Three Musketeers story, from the impressive 1993 Disney movie that many still hold in high regard to this day, to 2001’s The Musketeer, which had some pretty amazing fight scenes but suffered from sub-par acting. Now famed action director Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil) brings us his take on the famous tale by injecting his unique style of action and effects to bring viewers an intense popcorn flick that gives the classic story a nice kick in the pants that’s sure to excite and entertain most – just as long as you’re not expecting classic literature between all those explosions.
Many will be quick to point out its significant flaws and ultimately compare it to any of the several renditions of Alexandre Dumas’ eternal classic, fellow reviewer Chris Pandolfi among them, and here’s a snippet of what he felt about the theatrical version (check out his full review right HERE🙂
“The Three Musketeers plays less like an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ original novel and more like a test drive for a new historical video game. Indeed, it was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, whose career is in part defined by films based on video games (Mortal Kombat, Alien vs. Predator, the first and third Resident Evil films with another one on the way). It’s not the deviations that bother me; I truly could not care less how unfaithful a film is from its source so long as I’m being entertained. What bothers me is the simple-mindedness with which the story is told. This new The Three Musketeers – with its exaggerated stunt work, silly steampunk special effects, and awful twenty-first century dialogue – is an adequate film for fifteen-year-old gamers who have not seen any previous adaptation, never read the novel, and barely glanced at the CliffNotes.”
I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of people who will find plenty of faults to point out in this film, but as long as you’re not expecting Shakespeare-quality performances and enjoy action and adventure, you’ll more than likely enjoy the ride here as I did. Especially here on Blu-ray, as the film’s transfer is done exceptionally well here. Every color and detail shows up perfectly, from the flying dirt particles and debris of explosions, to the fancy sword hilts shown throughout the movie, everything is seen with crystal clarity. The impressive 5.1 DTS-HD audio is just as exciting, as every bass filled explosion and sword clang is heard loud and clear.
There’s a few swashbuckling special features to look into here, as audio commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson and producers Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer kick things off. The three of them talk about everything from filming locations, to the special effects, and even some of the changes they added to the book’s story. Those curious about all the little details are sure to get a kick out of this. Four small featurettes give viewers even more details into the movie’s creation as they cover certain effect scenes, Orlando Bloom’s casting, and more. “Deleted & Extended Scenes” show off twelve deleted and extended sequences that can be viewed together as a 14-minute feature or separately. “Access: Three Musketeers” is a nice scene specific supplement that plays along with the film and lets you check out featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage, trivia, and more.
Those who are looking for a fun, action packed popcorn movie will most likely enjoy this amplified version of The Three Musketeers, as there’s plenty of sword fighting, explosions, and other daring-do to keep most entertained. It’s pretty much the version you thought we’d get from director Paul W.S. Anderson, who manages to wring as much action from Dumas’ story as possible, with a likable cast that does an admirable job. The results may stretch the limits of plausibility and definitely won’t impress those hoping for a faithful literary adaptation, but it’s far from the worst adaptation we’ve seen. If any of that sounds like your kind of movie, let this Blu-ray swashbuckle its way into your collection, as there’s plenty of crazy fun to be had here.