Thursday, July 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Three Musketeers (1993)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Enjoyable enough when watching
Cons: Everything is just passable overall
The Bottom Line
Nothing outstanding
But also nothing horrid
It's just average

"1000 Gold Pieces on Each of Their Heads Dead or Alive.  I Prefer Dead."

Recently, I've gotten interested in The Three Musketeers, a story I really know nothing about.  Instead of going to the original source, I turned to this Disney movie from 1993.  I remember watching it in the theaters and not being super impressed with it.  Time hasn't changed my opinion of it at all.

D'Artagna (Chris O'Donnell) longs to be a musketeer, so he sets off from his village to travel toParisto join up.  When he arrives, he finds that they have been disbanded on the orders of Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry).  However, he soon runs afoul of three of them, Aramis (Charlie Sheen), Athos (Kiefer Sutherland), and Porthos (Oliver Platt).

Then fate changes things, and the four of them must team up to stop a plot by Richelieu and Countess D'Winter (Rebecca DeMornay) to overthrow the king (Hugh O'Conor).  Can they save the young monarch and his wife (Gabrielle Anwar)?

Obviously, I have no idea how this movie compares to the book or even the other movie versions out there.  That's probably a good thing because it means I can just judge it by itself.

The movie is trying to be a somewhat comic version of the story, and there are certainly some scenes that give us some great one liners.  However, it doesn't quite come to the level of a comedy.

Likewise, it doesn't quite work as an action film.  Oh, I have no problem with the mostly bloodless sword fights.  But the scenes are perfunctory and not really that exciting.  The epic battle at the end has some good moments, but that's about it.  Again, it's not that it's bad, but it's not great either.

The characters are likewise passable, but that's about it.  There are some moments in the second half that are supposed to mean something to us emotionally, but they just don't.  In fact, I find the relationship between the king and queen the most emotionally impacting one in the movie.  They're minor characters and I care for them more than our leads.

It's probably because the movie is fairly predictable.  Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but there are no twists you can't see coming from a ways away.

The movie is set some time in the seventeenth century, and they do a good job of recreating the period.  Okay, I'm no expert, but nothing jumped out at me.

I got a big kick out of watching this movie again since I know several of the actors from their recent TV work.  I think they all do a great job here bringing their characters to life.  My issues with the movie are with the script, and not the acting.  Special mention must be made of Tim Curry, who is over the top, but in a delightful way that makes his scenes as the villain all the more fun.  He walks a fine line and pulls it off perfectly.

It's easy to pick on the many issues in Disney's The Three Musketeers, but it's not all bad.  It's entertaining enough while you're watching it, but this also isn't one to rush out and watch.  If you catch it you'll enjoy it, but I'm sure there are better versions of the story out there.


  1. The movie was actually quite good i think. Kind if similar to the 1948 version. The 70's dualogy (2 movies) was the truest to the book (albeit with Richard Lester's typical humour thrown in), but since you didn't read the book, you wouldn't know how much adultery and overall womanising our "heroes" do! (Constance was married, and yet D'Artnanen still wooed her which was "perfectly acceptable")

    I think the only thing that I didn't like about the Disney film was the deviations from the book (not the removing of the immorality, but things like the Cardinal planning to remove the King, and the disbanding of the Musketeers-I always took that to be kind of like the hunting down of the Jedi Knights). Still, as you say, the Disney film is a nice little package that can be enjoyed by all.

    ***I personally thought the scene of the cardinal killing the tortured prisoner who begged for mercy in the name of God to be a bit too sadistic for the film though***

    1. Obviously, you've enjoyed many different versions of the story over the years.

    2. I think it really good as well. It's a lot of fun. I personally wasn't bothered by the deviations from the book. I've seen the 1992, 1993 & 2011 adaptions of the movie - all good. I've also seen "Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers", which is great fun.