Despite Overdone Plot, The Musketeer Brings Pure Entertainment

Set in 17th century France during the end of the rein of King Louis XIII, The Musketeer gives viewers two hours of pure entertainment. The Musketeers are the King’s loyal bodyguards who are disbanded due to the covert actions of Cardinal Richelieu, the head of the Catholic Church in France. Young D’Artagnan (Justin Chambers) is the aspiring Musketeer who is searching for vengeance against those who killed his parents. Can we say Batman and countless other hero epics?

Perhaps the thing that made this Musketeer movie most appealing, especially to young viewers, was the fact that Xin Xin Xiong did the fight choreography. His credits include 1997’s Double Team with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. I must say that the fight scenes were a joy to watch, and, as with many new movies, they were nearly Matrix-like.

I especially enjoyed the scene where D’Artagnan is keeping his balance on two barrels while fighting four men. Another highlight, that I don’t want to spoil for viewers, is the ladder scene. It was breathtaking, and moved as fast as any Musketeer’s sword when he has been insulted.

What I liked most about this movie was it’s well-portrayed historical background. The screenwriters used nice, solid facts that seemed to give this film some credibility. While other movies, such as The Mummy, tend not to have a shred of historical background, this film deserves credit for not letting viewers down with anachronisms or stereotypes.

The film’s scenery was beautiful, having been filmed on-location in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. I could really tell that it was France on screen and not some place in California. Also, I felt the character of Febre (Tim Roth) was as convincing a bad guy as any.

For all this film’s positives, I believe this story-line has been done to death. There have been at least twenty films, or variations, based upon the tales of the Musketeers. Alexander Dumas’ original book has been picked clean for any new ideas, and I think only Sherlock Holmes or Robin Hood have been played by a greater number of different actors, and hence been picked more cleanly than The Three Musketeers.

Nevertheless, I give this film four swashbucklers out of five. All for one, and one for all.