"I'll just get my gear."

The Musketeer

I have very little familiarity with Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, or even any of its many famous film adaptations. I think I mainly know the characters from the cartoons on The Banana Splits. So this review is not coming from the perspective of a true Muskie or Musketmaniac. Instead, I come to THE MUSKETEER (2001) as a fan of two movements in ‘90s/2000s cinema that improbably collided in this movie. Those movements are:

1) The Old Timey Adventure movie – contemporary filmmaking based on old (arguably even obsolete) characters, attempting to evoke a nostalgic movie serial type tone

see also: THE MASK OF ZORRO, THE PHANTOM, THE LONE RANGER

2) Hong Kong Outreach Cinema – that wave of films where geniuses of Hong Kong action cinema were recruited to spruce up Hollywood movies

see also: THE BIG HIT, LETHAL WEAPON 4, THE MATRIX, INVINCIBLE, BRIDE OF CHUCKY

The movie that this wisecracky but serious-toned loose rewrite of Dumas most reminds me of is THE MASK OF ZORRO, though admittedly it doesn’t have the same level of production value (the shitty transfer on the DVD surely doesn’t help with that) and the leads come nowhere near Banderas/Zeta-Jones level charisma. But the reason it’s been on my radar for 20 years and I finally watched it was because the action director (who even gets his name on the opening credits) is Xin-Xin Xiong. He’s perhaps best known as an actor and Jet Li stunt double in the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA movies, but I always think of him as “The guy with the switchblade between his toes in DOUBLE TEAM”:

Who the fuck wants to see a knew Three Muskete–

Wait, what’s that you said? The DOUBLE TEAM switchblade foot guy is doing it? Well that’s another story. Where do I sign?

He wasn’t just in DOUBLE TEAM, he was also the choreographer, and he also did SIMON SEZ and WONDER SEVEN. In THE MUSKETEER he doubles the villain, Febre (Tim Roth in the same year he was in PLANET OF THE APES), while Qiao Tan (TAI CHI II) doubles the hero, d’Artagnan (Justin Chambers, LAKEVIEW TERRACE). Those wigs and floppy hats hide their faces well, but the way they jump around there’s no question they come out of Hong Kong cinema.

I appreciate that THE MUSKETEER moves quicker than many of the period movies that are trying to be all historical and shit. It takes 3 and a half minutes to get to the point where young d’Artagnan has stabbed Febre’s eye out, his parents have been murdered in front of him and Planchet (Jean-Pierre Cataldi, FRENCH CONNECTION II) has taken over his guardianship and musketeer training. As an adult, d’Artagnan journeys to Paris to try to join the king’s elite guard or whatever like his father before him. But to his disappointment he finds that the musketeers have been sidelined by the power mad Cardinal Richelieu (Stephen Rea, UNTIL DEATH), so they’re all a bunch of old guys who hang out in a bar and don’t seem that impressive.

They’re not impressed by him either, so he changes that by staging his own mission with Porthos (Steve Speirs, Gungan Captain Tarpals in THE PHANTOM MENACE) and Aramis (Nick Moran, AVENGEMENT) to rescue Treville (Michael Byrne, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE).

Meanwhile he stays at a boarding house and crushes on a chambermaid named Francesca (Mena Suvari in her followup to AMERICAN PIE 2) who despite her low station is almost regally confident because her late mother was a seamstress to the Queen (Catherine Deneuve, DANCER IN THE DARK), and they’re still friends. The backstory is important because Francesca later recruits d’Artagnan to escort the Queen on a secret diplomatic mission while the psychotic Febre tries to kill her.

I feel mean writing this, but Chambers and Suvari are both pretty awkward doing their witty comments and flirtations. Maybe the accents are tripping them up. Sometimes it works, and d’Artagnan gets some pretty good funny lines and quirks. I like that he’s always talking encouragingly to his horses, and gets in a confrontation with some guys when they won’t apologize for allegedly hurting his horse’s feelings.

I had a hard time telling the old guy characters apart, but they’re pretty good. There’s alot of pretending to be worthless just to test d’Artagnan – Planchet allowing himself to be taken hostage even though he has spinning pistols that can pop out of his sleeves, the musketeers refusing to help him on a dangerous mission only to find out if he’ll try to do it by himself (he does, and then they join him).

The script is by Gene Quintano, who started during the 3D boom (COMIN’ AT YA!, TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS) but then did POLICE ACADEMY 35 and directed HONEYMOON ACADEMY, LOADED WEAPON 1 and FUNKY MONKEY. Anyway, somehow that same guy also wrote SUDDEN DEATH and this, and I honestly think there’s some good stuff in here.

I’ll give an example: At the boardinghouse, d’Artagnan notices some straw falling from between the ceiling boards, and he realizes that a pervert (Bill Treacher, TALE OF THE MUMMY) is spying on Francesca in the bath, so he goes up there to confront him. Of course d’Artagnan himself collapses through the ceiling into the bathroom as if he’s the peeper, and is embarrassed. Ha ha. But because Francesca is acquainted with the actual pervert and calls him a “sewer rat,” d’Artagnan forces that guy to show him the way through the sewers and use it for a hostage rescue. At the same time, this scene sets up for him to later escape through the ceiling, and establishes a visual signal that comes up later, when a piece of straw falls from the ceiling and we know it means that an important conversation has been eavesdropped on. So it’s some well thought out storytelling.

?

On the other hand the scene also sets up that d’Artagnan is afraid of insects, and it weirdly never comes back. And come to think of it there’s a part where they talk about legends of a giant crocodile living in the sewer, and you just know that means we’re gonna get a giant crocodile scene… except we don’t. I would’ve gone for that, obviously. Was a bunch of stuff cut out of this? That would explain a few abrupt fades to black. I’m not sure if it would explain the ugly Photoshop filter looking credit graphics. I don’t know what’s up with those.

I had an easy time forgiving these shortcomings since the action lived up to my hopes. Right at the beginning d’Artagnan gets into a fight with some jerk in a saloon (all movie heroes should do that, honestly) and he’s jumping onto tables and doing flips and you can’t help but say “Yep. Hong Kong.” He knocks a guy into a shelf that breaks and causes a bunch of wine barrels to fall off and roll across the floor, so he jumps on top of them to save a little girl from being crushed, then walks on the rolling barrels, does the splits, a flip, leaps into the rafters, all kinds of good shit.

There’s definitely some wire work (which I have never been against) but also just your big stunts: climbing on things, fighting on things, falling off of things. He climbs from window to window on the side of a structure, swinging on large shutters and trailing a rope which he then jerks after attackers pop out of the other windows, knocking them off the building. There’s a really good battle on top of and around a speeding horse-drawn carriage, jumping from horse-to-horse, swinging from branches, shooting a horse so that it falls down and trips another horse, hanging on the undercarriage (of course).

The scene that was cool enough to base the marketing campaign around is when he fires a grappling hook up a castle and fences with several people while all are dangling from ropes and kicking off of the side of the tower. But that’s not the climax. d’Artagnan later duels Febre in an undeniable homage to ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, running across tall ladders that tip and swing around and yes, balance like a teeter totter with one standing on each end. It’s not as long as the version of this sort of thingin OUATIC, but it’s pretty spectacular and unusually gravity averse for a western film. I love it.

In my opinion the big orchestral adventure score by David Arnold (INDEPENDENCE DAY, WING COMMANDER) is too big and busy during some of the action scenes, but otherwise I can dig that kind of old fashion SUPERMAN-ish rousing of the spirits.

I want to mention that Chambers’ voice and accent and the way he jokes and flirts kept reminding me of Hayden Christiansen in ATTACK OF THE CLONES, so it’s weird how much this picnic scene resembles the one in that movie! They talk about their backgrounds and world views, but he doesn’t get tromped by a weird space animal, so instead they have sex. In retrospect we can see how much Anakin blew it by trying to climb onto that animal to show off.


You could also argue that there’s a similarity between missions: Anakin secretly transports and hides a Queen-turned-senator in disguise, falling in love with her along the way; d’Artagnan transports a Queen in disguise who needs to deliver a message, and he’s falling in love with her young companion Francesca. Also, there’s a similarity between the Musketeers and the Jedi as a legendary and revered type of highly trained swordsman/freerunner, and this young hotshot-in-the-making still trying to prove himself, who gets into deep shit but is joined by a huge group of the older Musketeers for a big battle at the end.

You know what, this might be a stretch, but George Lucas could’ve known about this movie. According to Mike Leeder, Sammo Hung was briefly in talks to be action director of ATTACK OF THE CLONES, so the idea of Hong Kong choreographers doing western sword fight movies was definitely on Lucas’s mind around that time. So I am tentatively adding THE MUSKETEER under BLIND FURY and STEEL DAWN on the list of cool lowbrowish movies that might’ve been unlikely STAR WARS prequel inspirations.

THE MUSKETEER is directed by Peter Hyams (who is also the d.p.) in his followup to END OF DAYS, and produced by long-time Jean-Claude Van Damme producer Moshe Diamant, who had already worked with Hyams on TIMECOP and SUDDEN DEATH. Oh, man – it would be cool if Van Damme was in this, in absolutely any role. The lead, his dad, the villain, any musketeer, the king, the cardinal, anybody. Oh well.

I figured having some guy from THE WEDDING PLANNER as the lead was the reason this didn’t really catch on at the time or since. But a bigger problem might’ve been that it was released on September 7, 2001. It was actually the #1 movie during the week of 9-11.

But I think it’s a fun movie. If you are interested in that swashbuckly/wire-fu-y combo, check it out. That’s what I did, and I was satisfied with the results.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 18th, 2021 at 11:30 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

46 Responses to “The Musketeer”

  1. I should give this a shot finally. This one was almost immediately labeled a ‘WhAt WeRe ThEy ThInKiNg LOL!!’ movie and then kinda forgotten unless someone needed an example of the Matrix run of Hollywood action.

  2. I remember seeing this movie when it came out and feeling that (1) it was a bad 3 Musketeers adaptation (not exactly fair, could have judged it purely on its own merits) but also (2) a lot of the fights were extremely dark, so I got a lot more sense that d’Artagnan was doing something cool than I actually got to see him do something cool.

  3. Won’t go as far as calling this i favourite, but I did enjoy it for what it was back in the day. And this review made want to revisit. Kind of annoying that no one have reissued this on blu-ray, I would love to see a good, clean copy of it.

    Gene Quintano is brought up in the review, and a few years prior to this he wrote and directed Dollar for the Dead, which apparently mixes Hong Kong acion with the Western, so he must have been into this kindo of stuff. I never saw it, but have heard good things about it.

  4. This one has been on my list since it came out. Also I will never forget the day one guy I knew kept talking all day about this movie, because he found the VHS in the 1€ bin, just grabbed it without even knowing what it was (I mean, he knew the Musketeers, but I think this was a DTV release over here) and loved it so much, he watched it twice in a row.

  5. This movie is kind of burned into my brain because I saw it on opening day at Lowes 14th.

    Memorable because opening day was 9/14/01, so yeah, the island of Manhattan was a little weird that particular Friday.

  6. One more thins: the opening paragraph in the review suggests that

    a) you haven’t seen the musketeer movies by Richar Lester. They are fantastic, what are you waiting for.

    b) you haven’t seen the musketeer movie by Paul WS Anderson. It’s his best one, what are you waiting for.

  7. I remember really liking this when it came out but don’t remember a single thing now. I’ll have to give it a rewatch.

    I can’t believe that a producer known for working with JCVD made a famously French story and didn’t have JCVD in it. Were they fighting at the time?

  8. Is Peter Hyams…an underrated director? I remember reading some strong criticism of his work somewhere that kind of planted itself in my brain, but I liked CAPRICORN ONE, regrettable-in-retrospect casting aside, I own OUTLAND on Blu-Ray and like it a lot, I liked THE PRESIDIO and END OF DAYS, and this review makes this movie sound pretty decent…

  9. David Randolph Martin II

    January 18th, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    I saw this movie in Los Angeles during its initial release with my best friend. I remember it because there was an earthquake during the showing. They stopped the movie and the audience was evacuated from the theater. We spent about 15 minutes outside before they re-admitted the audience. There were a couple minor aftershocks afterwards but they didn’t stop the movie and being Los Angelenos, no one left.

  10. I think if you see this one first, it’s hard for us – what did you call it? – Muskies to recommend the classics. After the HK choreography you might just think that the action in them is kinda slow. I liked this one a lot, but I just have to mention Richard Lester’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS, THE FOUR MUSKETEERS and THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS, Paul W.S. Anderson’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS and the BBC series THE MUSKETEERS. They’re all really good. Stephen Herek’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS not so much.

    PS! Vern. I know you like Zorro. Try getting a hold of ZORRO AND THE THREE MUSKETEERS from 1963. It’s a lot of fun.

  11. Here’s one more vote for Lester’s musketeer films. And also for ROB ROY — if you’re going to watch Tim Roth as a villainous swordsman, this is the movie to watch.

  12. When I saw this originally I was curious to see what Tim Roth could do with the role of Rochefort. I didn’t doubt that he would be good. But could he reach the heights of Christopher Lee, Michael Wincott and Mads Mikkelsen? I would say No, Yes and Yes.

  13. I guess we have to ask CJ about the qualities of DIE SEX-ABENTEUER DER DREI MUSKETIERE.

  14. I’m going to lower(?) the tone by mentioning DOGTANIAN AND THE THREE MUSKEHOUNDS, of which there is a (mercifully all-animated) film due out this year.

  15. Apologies in advance for the mini KayKay rant to follow:

    MOST screen adaptations of THE THREE MUSKETEERS have pissed me off no end, barring the 1948 Gene Kelly/Lana Turner version which was the only one that stuck to the tone and the spirit of the novel.

    As someone who got turned on to books via Dumas (the man was truly THE Blockbuster Novelist of his day) and read pretty much everything he wrote, the infantilizing of his work as “PG-13 Swashbuckling romances” in their screen adaptations is annoying to say the least.

    To be fair, the tone was set when the first English translations of Dumas’ work removed some of the more salacious elements which would have offended the “delicate sensibilities of Victorian readers” in the 19th century. Did you know THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO in it’s original version featured drug-induced sexual fantasies, transvestitism and lesbianism? Neither did any reader of the countless English versions which followed. Robin Buss’ latest translation thankfully corrects this. Dumas also became victim to one of the strangest decisions in Western publishing:

    Ever wonder why THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK the novel reads like a book that starts in the middle? Because it does! It’s the final part of Dumas’ epic 3 volume saga, the only one translated and published for years in the English speaking world. Imagine Tolkien writing THE LORD OF THE RINGS but only THE RETURN OF THE KING was made available to the reading public

    So what I’m saying is, my man Dumas, the Bernard Cornwell/George RR Martin/Ken Follett-size Leviathan of the Publishing World in his time, was and continues to be royally fucked with.

    And never more so than with the THE THREE MUSKETEERS. In it’s original form, it’s a rousing tale of honor, loyalty, brotherhood and romance. It’s also a tale of treachery, betrayal, infidelity and doomed love and most screen versions deftly side-step the gradually darker tones of the book which actually gives it much of it’s narrative heft and staying power.

    In fact, if you adapted the book with very little to no alterations, you’d actually get a rocking BRAVEHEART-sized epic historical actioner which would shock, awe, move and thrill you in equal measures (look, Dumas’ books were all about providing blockbuster drama and action on the pages and less about exploring the human condition).

    So naturally, Hollywood reckons it can only be improved by casting whichever “Hot Shit for 15 minutes” teen heartthrob of the moment as D’Artagnan, slapping on a cheesy Adams/Sting/Stewart ballad on the credits, making one of Literature’s great Villains Milady into an ass-kicking Ninja, giving it the family friendly vibe of a Saturday morning cartoon and adding Steam Punk Airships.

    I recall checking out THE MUSKETEER, vaguely recall Tim Roth trying to channel an Alan Rickman in ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES unsuccessfully and pretty much don’t recall anything else. And am happy to keep it that way.

    P.S: I think Peter Hyams is a GREAT journeyman director. But this isn’t one of his movies I’d programme for a Hyams binge.

    P.P.S. The Richard Lester adaptations annoy me because Lester brought the same SUPERMAN 2/SUPERMAN 3 tone to them: Like he’s above the material

  16. Pegsman, believe it or not, but the name rings a bell. I’m sure I probably saw it once or twice on late night TV during my teen years. Buuuuuuut I don’t think I paid much attention to its qualities.

    I also remember DOGTANION from the time before my teen years.

  17. KayKay, I’m sure you’re right about the novels. But don’t even try to diss the Lester adaptions. That’s like saying you don’t really like movies.

    CJ, I believe I’ve seen some of it on Sat1 one late Saturday evening, but I don’t think it was neither funny nor titillating.

  18. pegs, I fucking love movies man, but just can’t shake the snarky vibes from Lester’s films. Am willing to concede that’s an opinion only shared in KayKay-Ville, Population: 1

  19. I believe that snark is the British humor he infused everything from HELP to BUTCH AND SUNDANCE with.

  20. KayKay: What would you consider the definitive translation of THE THREE MUSKETEERS? I’ve read it before (don’t remember which version), but I’d like to check it out as Alexander Dumb-ass himself intended.

  21. Crustacean Love: My edition is the Penguin Classics one translated by Richard Pevear which is pretty good. Unlike IRON MASK and MONTE CRISTO, most unabridged MUSKETEERS editions apparently make little to no alterations from the French original.

    But if time does not permit, then checking out the 1948 George Sidney-directed version is the next best thing as it’s the one most faithful to the book.

  22. I haven’t seen this since it came out on DVD.

    I don’t remember a thing about it.

    Nevertheless, seeing as it stars Karev from Grey’s Anatomy as D’Artagnan in a wire-fu, Hong King-ish adaptation of The Three Musketeers, I am honor-bound to rewatch this thing as soon as humanly possible.

    It’s got to be an experience on those grounds alone.

  23. I think some of the “above the material” feeling KayKay gets from the Lester adaptations might be due to George MacDonald Fraser’s scripts. Dumas’s tone can be droll and ironic, but Fraser liked all-out sardonic farce; it’s even more obvious in ROYAL FLASH, where Lester adapted one of Fraser’s own novels, but you can see it in the musketeer movies too. But I’d never say it feels condescending. It’s just a different approach. (And it’s weird to accuse of Lester of sneering at Superman when Richard Donner’s stuff is sitting right there. It wasn’t Lester who put a flushing toilet gag in the Fortress of Solitude.)

  24. “I think that Donner was emphasizing a kind of grandiose myth. There was a kind of David Lean-ish attempt in several sequences, and enormous scale. There was a type of epic quality which isn’t in my nature, so my work really didn’t embrace that…That’s not me. That’s his vision of it. I’m more quirky and I play around with slightly more unexpected silliness.”

    The above is an actual quote from Lester.

    I’ll cut him slack for Superman II as he was essentially brought in to complete a troubled production which he accomplished efficiently.

    But SUPERMAN III…. man, I know SUPERMAN IV QUEST FOR PEACE is supposed to be the nadir of the Reeves series, but it’s SUPES III which annoys me more.

    Godlike superheroes are few, but trivializing and trotting them out for a few chuckles (see also: THOR RAGNAROK) isn’t my thing. But Lester’s sensibilities are perfect for that tone.

  25. Well, sure, Donner loves the majestic landscapes. He also loves Ned Beattie knocking into things, falling over, and talking about bed-wetting, which you don’t see so much of in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. Lester’s comedy is precise as clockwork, genuinely funny, and usually a much better match for his tone.

    You might have seen the revisionist arguments that SUPERMAN III is the best film in the series. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it’s certainly better than the first one. A central idea there — that Lana Lang finds Clark Kent more appealing than Superman — is one that would never fit in with Donner’s “mythic” visions of the character. Godlike heroes are fine as far as that goes, but in practice “godlike” often means inhuman, and inhuman often means dull.

  26. When we first got Satellite TV in around 1992 the movie channels had a pretty limited roster in the daytime, and we would catch bits of SUPERMAN III often. We loved catching all the broad set pieces, especially that opening scene.

    Judging the film as a whole as an adult, I think I’d be more of a fan if it were about half an hour shorter, because that sucker really drags in places. In that sense it was the INSERT ANY RECENTISH BIG BUDGET FILM of its day.

  27. The fighting traffic light men in SUPERMAN III crack me up every time and I don’t care what you think about them.

  28. As someone doing a Superman-a-thon currently, I can say definitely this argument that III is the best of the Reeve movies is complete and utter hot-takey bullshit.

  29. Matthew B: Ok, I’ll admit there is exactly ONE scene in SUPERMAN III that I re-watch whenever I can bother to yank it out of my box set and give it a spin: Good Supes Vs Bad, which ironically is the one time the movie comes close to buying into the epic myth of the Man Of Steel. You’re a near indestructible, immortal alien God so when your id and superego aren’t on talking terms what do you do? Self Reflect? Fuck no, you have the 2 motherfuckers beat the ever living shit out of one another in a titanic battle for domination.

    The rest of the movie…meh.

    I do agree Lester has a nice flair for comedy and merely disagree there’s a little too much of it in a Superman film, the way I think the Marvel flicks around Phase 3 had too much of it and it kinda annoys me in the same way when FAMILY GUY gags in the last few seasons just stretch on past the point of mirth.

    Like that opening montage of screwball comedy hijinks really is funny, it just belongs in a different movie.

    And then that mid portion where Supes/Clark is just sidelined and the film becomes a Richard Pryor comedy.But not really one of his funny good ones.

    And a classic example of gags that stretch way past their effectiveness: It was amusing and entertaining to see Reeve ditch his nice guy persona to play Asshole Supes who mopes in a bar, flicking peanuts and smashing bottles, yelling at passersby, screwing that busty blonde and ok I’ll even take that part where he blows out the Olympic torch.

    But then….Bad Supes straightens out the Leaning Tower of Pisa, pissing off the souvenir seller who’s selling miniatures who flips off Supes. And the movie has to END with Good Supes now making the tower lean again, and this time the souvenir seller flips him off cause he’s replaced all his miniatures with straightened ones.

    That’s peddling a joke way past it’s expiry date. It’s rancid, tastes funny and is ultimately the shits.

  30. KayKay: It’s interesting how different people who have read the books can take different things from the adaptations. For me, the Lester films are the closest in overall tone to the book than any other I’ve seen. They’re the only Lester films I love (not a big Beatles fanatic and I only like Supes II). While the Lester antics are indeed over the top at times, I really feel that Oliver Reed’s Athos really grounds things at the right times. Of course York’s too old to play D’Artangnan and the apparent death of a certain character shouldn’t happen. But almost everyone else is perfectly cast and it’s perhaps one of my favorite Reed performances ever.

  31. As well as the magnificent work of Lee, Reed and York- who, because he is too old manages to be the only one in any adaption who is able to give D’Artangnan some personality – it’s Lester’s sort of spaghetti western approach, where everyone is sweaty and dusty, in addition to great camera work who let’s the actors really shine in the fight scenes, which gives his three movies an edge. Finlay and Chamberlain are good too, but more in line with what’s expected.

  32. grimgrinningchris

    January 24th, 2021 at 5:41 am

    Is it okay to admit to liking the Disney Three Musketeers from like 93?

    Mostly for Oliver Platt, Tim Curry and, of course, Michael Wincott.

  33. Haven’t seen that one in a while, but the theme song has been following me around last week for some reason. Weird how such a massive hit from three of the at the time biggest stars in the world is these days pretty much forgotten.

  34. Damn, check out the premise of the Asylum version of the Musketeers!

    “Legendary black ops unit, The 3 Musketeers (master strategist Oliver Athos, enigmatic martial arts expert Renee Aramis and wisecracking hacker Isaac Porthos) attempt to save a passenger airplane that gets shot down over North Korea. They barely escape with their lives before Secret Service rookie Alexandra D’Artagnan is sent to investigate a government coup and enlists their help.

    Set in the near-future United States, D’Artagnan uncovers a corrupt general and his plans to assassinate the President of the United States. There is a plan to instigate a government coup in order to install a military regime, so D’Artagnan and the three infamous international spies work together to stop the threat. ”

    There is a very slim chance that this is even remotely watchable and lives up to that premise, but I admit, I almost wanna watch it.

  35. So is THE THREE MUSKETEERS a famous work in this reality or not? It would seem so, since there’s no reason anyone would refer to three modern-day soldiers by that outdated term unless they were referencing the Dumas novel. Yet it seems unlikely that four associates would just coincidentally have the same last names as the four most prominent characters, indicating that the novel does not exist in this reality. So which is it?

    You know, I’m starting to suspect maybe The Asylum didn’t think this concept all the way through.

  36. Maybe The Mouseketeers exist in their reality and they’re riffing on that.

  37. But they all happen to have the same names as the “real-life” Musketeers? Even D’Artagnan, who presumably didn’t even know these guys until the start of the movie? Quelle coincidence!

    I don’t think you can have it both ways. Either these guys are known as the Three Musketeers because that’s what every trio of dudes has been nicknamed ever since the novel was published OR they ARE the Three Musketeers of this universe and that’s why they have the same names—though this does not explain why they would be referred to by an obscure word for a French infantryman that has not been used in a hundred years if said word were not popularized by the novel.

    I don’t know why this bothers me. But it bothers me.

    Barely related question: Has there ever been a version of D’Artagnan that isn’t an utter waste of space? They always fill the Musketeer roles with interesting actors, but then the movie mostly focuses on some milquetoast blond nobody you forget is even in the movie five minutes after the credits roll. Is it one of those roles that’s impossible to make interesting, like Jonathan Harker in DRACULA or Claudio in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, or has the casting just always been terrible?

  38. I haven’t seen it but maybe it’s like how in BEAST WARS, Optimus Primal and Megatron aren’t the same characters but new ones who decided to adopt those names in honor of the originals?

    Just spitballin’ here.

    And how dare you ignore the best Jonathan Harker, the one from the Sega CD game adapting the Coppola movie:

    Mega-CD Longplay [067] Bram Stoker's Dracula

    http://www.longplays.orgPlayed by:- /Y\ad/Y\attyAnother game for the Longplay archive. Not my best playthough and I look abit of a noob playing it ;)This re...

  39. grimgrinningchris

    January 26th, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Cubby, Annette and Ryan Gosling are still my favorite Mouseketeers.

  40. Vince, I would say that Michael York in the ’73 version is the exception. Simply by being Michael York. We must remember that by then he was known for THE STRANGE AFFAIR, where he has a romance with an under-aged girl, CABARET and SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, where he plays a butler who sleeps with everyone in the Family he works for – mother, daughter, son etc. And from the first scene Lester films, where D’Artagnan seems to have some strange homo erotic relationship with his own father, to the various interactions with Raquel Welch and others, the man just oozes sex – akward, English, pale skinned sex, but still…

  41. I was gonna let this go but I’m in a bit of a bad mood but as someone who has watched SUPERMAN THE MOVIE twice (and MAN OF STEEL) in the past month, along with SUPERMAN III. I can say from an authoritative stance that stating that SUPERMAN III is the best Superman movie or at least is better than the first is some hipster hot-taking bullshit.

  42. I remember that time we had a guy on here trying to claim that TEXAS CHAINSAW III was the best of the series.

  43. Why would you remind me of that guy and trigger me? This is supposed to be a safe space…

  44. I’d rather be talking about JUGGERNAUT or something, but SUPERMAN is a couple of great Reeve and Kidder performances smothered in two and a half hours of tepid bullshit, so yeah, obviously SUPERMAN III is better than that.

  45. My judgement may be suspect, or at least conventional, as I’ll take SUPERMAN over SUPERMAN III, but yes please to JUGGERNAUT. I’d definitely put it in my top 3 bomb disposal movies, after THE SMALL BACK ROOM and THE HURT LOCKER. Although I also have a lot of time for Aldrich’s TEN SECONDS TO HELL, and a recent HK favourite SHOCKWAVE/SHOCKWAVE TUNNEL.

    JUGGERNAUT also does a great job conjuring up the sheer dismalness of ’70s Britain, and it’s a much more interesting satire on the state of the nation than more obvious attempts such as BRITANNIA HOSPITAL.

    Also, Cyril Cusack goes from a corporal in THE SMALL BACK ROOM to a major in JUGGERNAUT, which I like to think was Lester tipping his hat to Powell and Pressburger.

  46. Judging by ROBIN AND MARIAN, CUBA, BUTCH AND SUNDANCE and JUGGERNAUT I guess Lester could have made a career out of being “just” an action director. But as we know, and I’m not weighing in on the SUPE II and III debate, the comedy was always there. Interestingly then, that after SUPERMAN III he seemed to lose it completely and make the painfully unfunny comedy FINDERS KEEPERS.

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