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Blu-ray Review: THREE MUSKETEERS

Paul W.S. Anderson's The Three Musketeers arrives on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on March 13. I have enjoyed watching the various incarnations of this classic tale over the years, with some being better than others. A number of great actors have portrayed the Musketeers over the years. In this incarnation Matthew Macfayden (Frost/Nixon) plays Athos, Ray Stevenson (The Punisher) plays Porthos, Luke Evans (Immortals, Clash of the Titans) plays Aramis, and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) plays D'Artagnan.

The supporting cast includes Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean films), Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil films) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds).  The story follows the Musketeers as they embark on a dangerous and legendary mission across Europe to save both their King and country – “all for one and one for all.”

I did not see this in theaters, but enjoyed it more than I expected on Blu-ray. The opening sequence has some intense action sequences that are a great reminder of each of the Musketeers. You are reminded of the camaraderie off the trio, and there is the typical amount of comedy mixed in with the action. The first portion moves along well from the introduction of D'Artagnan and his teaming with the Musketeers, but falls apart in the latter parts.

Anderson shot the film in 3D, and it shows visually, The colors look great and really pop on my home theaters. There are many action sequences and moments throughout the film that would have been perfect in 3D. The sword fighting sequences all had elements that really played up the fact it was filmed in 3D. I have never had the chance to watch a movie in 3D at home, but I doubt it meets the immersion of seeing 3D in theaters.

The biggest complaints I have with this film is scripting/pacing, and the fact that some of the cast was horribly under-utilized. I was not expecting to see a phenomenal script, and believe me it does not have one, but one always hopes for more. The idea of an action film having a good script or sticking to it's source material is wishful thinking. The Three Musketeers does neither. In the Alexander Dumas story there was never any flying ships, so do not get surprised to see that in this version. I do not think there was a need for two villains. Waltz is an outstanding choice for the role of the Cardinal, but I don't think Bloom was needed in the role of Buckingham. Yes it was important for the story that was created, but I did not like the way they went with the story.

The bonus features are fairly extensive. The film includes the following: Deleted & Extended Scenes, Cast & Crew stories, 17th Century Action, and Audio Commentary with the Director & more. My personal faves are always watching the deleted and extended sequences. As is usual, these scenes deserved to be be cut. I still like seeing them for myself. The 17th Century Action feature is pretty cool because it takes audiences into the action so we can see what went into the choreography of the sword fights.

In conclusion, The Three Musketeers has some decent action scenes, with cool choreography. The script and plot holes are annoying at times, especially during the latter part of the film. If you are looking for a fun action movie, then The Three Musketeers will be a decent choice.

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