Entertaining Movie, Great Glasses, Too
I was prepared to dislike Paul W.S. Anderson’s “The ThreeMusketeers.” I figured video game kung fu out the wazoo, contemporary American idioms uttered by people in period costume and general cheesiness. And I got it. But it worked. In a feeble effort to keep an open mind, I didn’t read up on the film, so my first surprise was receiving a pair of 3-D glasses. (Coolframes, too, very Jean-Luc Godard circa 1964.)I haven’t seen a 3-D flick since the “Friday the 13th” installment,which was mainly memorable for an eyeball-popping scene that caused considerable audience reaction in the downtown Boston theater. Here’s the thing about “Musketeers” and the 3D: After five minutes Iforgot about the glasses and was completely absorbed in the undeniably silly story. To me, that’s success. So D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) finishes practicing swordfighting with his pop in the countryside and heads to Paris, where he manages to challenge all three Musketeers to a duel on his first day in town. Lerman looks like Christian Slater, but I didn’t hold it against him. Anyway, the Musketeers are out of favor and they need a cause. And after a whole lot of plot that gets fairly confusing, it boils down to this. They have to go to the Tower of London and swipe back a diamond necklace so King Louis XIII won’t get into an adolescent huff.I know that doesn’t make any sense but don’t worry about it.We’re talking goofy king in heels, played with thumb-sucking intensity by Freddie Fox. (His balance isn’t any too good, either.) So, we have a one-eyed villain, swordfighting on an extremely narrow and scary roof, evil English Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom), who looks and acts like Charlie Sheen, Milla Jovovich as Milady, managing to show a fair bit of pulchritudedespite being wrapped up in many layers of clothing, an early version of the Darth Vader mask and parking tickets for horses. Also excellent swingingfrom ropes and video game kung fu kept to a tasteful minimum. Best of all, we have a Gallic Nuremberg rally scene interrupted by thearrival of the war machine — a sailing ship with a Hindenburgarrangement attached.This thing was invented by Leonardo da Vinci, a bone tossed to the “Da Vinci Code” crowd. And it only takes until the last 15 minutes before someone figures out that puncturing the balloon will render the floating death ship nulland void. We get plenty of action, but very little blood, some mild bathroom humor, mostly involving animal poop. And many push-up chest-type attachments on the ladies. Nothing that precludes bringing the kids. It’s pure escapist entertainment, seamlessly produced. Highly recommended. “The Three Musketeers” is playing at the Cinerom in Torrington and elsewhere. In spite of our reviewer, the MPAA, in its own wisdom, rated the film PG-13 for sequences of adventure action violence.