Well, I saw this movie a week and a half ago and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. I love this book. It is such a wonderful story and a fascinating read. The ideals the Musketeers have and uphold are wondrous and noble. In the movie, not so much.
The movie portrays the Musketeers more as mercenaries instead of honor-upholding guards to the royal family. In the book, none of the musketeers would EVER have said anything bad about the royal family. Well, Aramis might have once or twice, but Athos certainly didn’t. Athos was all about God, king and country in the book. In the movie, he’s bitter and blames his service to the crown for all of his misfortunes. In the book, his misfortunes are what drive him to join the Musketeers and his honor leads him to great feats of valor. All three of the musketeers are driven by honor and loyalty to their country. They also like to have some fun with sword fights.
Oooooh! That was another thing I was really disappointed about. There was only ONE brilliant sword fight in the ENTIRE movie!!! Are you serious?!?!?! This is a movie about the MUSKETEERS! The entire book has a theme based around how many fights they can get themselves into in the quickest amount of time. lol. In the movie, it’s more like they run from fights.
The fight I’m talking about at the beginning, the one where they are insanely outnumbered by the cardinals guards? Yeah, that was a little disappointing at the beginning of that fight. I mean, the legendary Musketeers, the ones who never run from a fight and are the first ones in and the last ones out (they were practically Marines), back down from a fight? Really? I was so disappointed in that. In the book, they never give a thought to running away or letting themselves be arrested. Within a few words they all have their swords out and are ready to fight.
I really feel this movie did a great disservice to the Musketeers. The movie portrayed them all as broken men. Well, at the beginning it portrayed them more as gaudy bafoons that needed a woman to lead them around and give them ideas than as larger-than-life heroes. Only when they were fighting did a glimpse of the true heroes emerge. It really was sad.
I do have to point out my greatest disappointment. Remember in my other post how I said Athos was my favorite character and I really hoped they didn’t change him? Well, they DID! They changed him! He was so bitter and depressed and a drunk! Nothing like the Athos I love. He was negative and unwilling to rise to challenges unless prodded by others. He urged D’Artagnan to turn his back on the crown and on his honor to go after a woman. He pitied himself and drowned himself in alcohol. Ugh. That is so not my Athos. For this movie, Athos was not my favorite character. Aramis seemed more like the real Athos than Athos did. lol. So, Aramis was my favorite character in the movie.
Another thing that irritated me is that Milady de Winter was their ally?!?!! Are you serious?!?!! She spends the entire book trying to kill them all! Well, not the entire book and it’s mostly just D’Artagnan she wants to kill, but still. At no point in the book is she ever joined with them in ANYTHING! Oh, and her kissing Athos in front of everyone and those two being all PDA-y, yeah, never happened and never would have. Athos was all about honor and decorum. Kissing a woman in public was a HUGE no-no back then. And being all gushy and gooey with all the love crap was not his style. He was a very reserved and proper person. Milady was very proper, too, but in an ‘assassin-trying-to-trick-everyone’ kind of way.
There are a lot of other problems I had with the movie, too. First off, Buckingham? Really? Orlando Bloom could have done such an amazing job as the Duke of Buckingham if they hadn’t been trying to portray him as a semi-gay, power-hungry, fashion-obsessed madman. I mean, really? The man who is madly in love with the queen and willing to take his country to war with France just so he can have the chance to be on the same continent with her? The man who is willing to risk anything and pay any price to defend her honor and be in her good graces? There was none of that in the movie. It was all him being all psycho and trying to take over France. Probably the world, too.
Oh, that brings me to another thing. Milady and Buckingham were never allies. She freakin tries to kill him in the book! Come to think of it, there are very few people in the book she doesn’t try to kill. lol. She’s a very busy woman.
I get that the writers take artistic license with books when they turn them into movies, but this movie couldn’t make up its mind! Sometimes it seemed like a serious drama, other times it seemed like a fun comedy and other times it seemed like it was supposed to be a romance. But none of those themes stayed consistent. It flopped back and forth. It ended up being just a strange rendition of a beautiful classic.
I was so excited to see that movie, but it left me very disappointed. If they’d called it something else, it probably would have worked and been okay. But when you call something The Three Musketeers, the audience expects to see the Three Musketeers, not a group of men who vaguely seem to be French swordsmen.
I rather feel that most of the spotlight was on Milady de Winter. I read a few reviews that said she (Milla Jovovich) and her husband produced the movie and I can totally see that. She garnered much of the focus of the movie and had some of the most daring stunts of the movie, though there weren’t that many. My point, though, is that the movie seemed more focused on Milady than on the actual musketeers.
Some more character differences were the king, the queen and the queen’s maid, Constance. The king was more like a silly child than a king. The book never portrays him that way, but it was pretty funny watching that character. And it was cute how he was in love with the queen and just wanted to impress her.
The queen, though, was like an entirely different character! The movie portrays her as a teenager and more of a ditz than a woman destined to become a brilliant monarch. She’s actually in her mid-to-late twenty’s in the book and very smart and strategic. So, the innocent child that she was portrayed as in the movie was nice, but it wasn’t her. And she certainly didn’t love the king. She loved the Duke of Buckingham and almost ruins herself (with the help of a scheming Cardinal Richelieu) in showing her affection to him. But, I can’t complain about that part too much. It was cute and added some much-needed levity to the otherwise disastrous movie.
I suppose I will end this here. I could go on, but I have to get to Institute. I really am disappointed in that movie. It could have been brilliant, but it ended up being a dismal flop. Not to say I hated it entirely, but I was so much expecting to see the heroic Musketeers at their finest. Alas, it was not to be. Oh well. At least I didn’t have to pay to see it.