The Musketeer (2001)

In yet another version of the legendary “Three Musketeers” Tale by Alexandre Dumas, D’artagnan (played by Justin Chambers), the musketeer hopeful whose father and mother were massacred in front of his eyes by the psychotic Febre (played by Tim Roth) when he was a boy, is taken in by a family friend and taught to be a musketeer. Years later, he returns for Febre and hopes to be a musketeer, a mythical army that unfortunately barely exists.

I love swashbuckling movies as much as the next guy, but I thought the emphasis put on D’artagnans journey from boy to man to hunting down his parents’ killer was actually quite an interesting concept, since revenge tales are almost always interesting, if not always entertaining. That said, as I really wanted to love “The Musketeer,” I pretty much despised it. First off, the story plays like a bad Saturday morning serial and makes its own twist on the tale very comical. The characters watch like 2D cardboard cutouts of 17th century swashbucklers, without any depth or complexity. The lead character D’artagnan played by Justin Chambers is so dull and one dimensional that it makes it hard to like him at all. The movie is painful to watch. It seems like the producers tried to squeeze a potential epic in a one and a half hour film and fail spectacularly.

The entire story could have been slipped into a two and a half hour narrative, but everything speeds through so much that it leaves your head spinning. We never learn anything about D’artagnan, there is no emphasis on him and his relationship with his parents, either. After two or three obligatory and redundant fight scenes, we meet the musketeers, who, once again we never learn anything about. There’s the love interest play wretchedly by Mena Suvari, the boring love scenes and dribble they spout to one another, et al. There’s the dull scenery and mellow-dramatic love scenes. To top everything off, the inevitable and anticipated showdown between D’artagnan and Febre is so anti-climactic and disappointing. “The Musketeer” is an awful attempt at twisting a great book in to an action vehicle, and one you can skip.