Light as a feather and downright goofy at times, director Paul WS Anderson (the "Resident Evil" films)'s take on "The Three Musketeers" is quick, manages some memorable moments and is lightly entertaining both in terms of being a popcorn movie and for the fact that it seems aware of how lightly it's taking itself. That, and it offers one of the most ridiculously, delightfully shoehorned-in hints of a sequel I think I've ever seen.
Early in the movie, Athos (Matthew Macfayden), Aramis (Luke Evans), and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) are joined by Milady (Mila Jovovich) in an attempt to steal documents from Da Vinci's vault that provide the plans for a flying warship. Needless to say, the Musketeers are double-crossed by Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). A year later, the Musketeers have given up, um, musketeering, only to be brought together when a fourth - D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) - comes into town wanting to join the former musketeers.
Soon enough, the group is thrown into conflict when a valuable diamond necklace is stolen and Buckingham plots against King Louie (Freddie Fox, in a performance that takes the film's over-the-top silliness too far.) The film's visuals generally impress - Anderson goes overboard (as he is known to do) with slo-mo shots, but set design, costumes and other period notes are pleasing. The visual effects work, on the other hand, varies from impressive to somewhat lackluster (and everything in-between.) The script isn't anything noteworthy, although it does come up with some one-liners that are unintentionally hilarious (the ending suggesting a sequel is so delightfully WTF bizarre that I almost wonder if it was meant to be intentionally absurd) in an enjoyable B-movie way. The performances are average, although Jovovich actually manages to turn her character into something a bit more three-dimensional than the script would suggest.
Overall, Anderson's "Three Musketeers" isn't classic cinema, but it works as silly popcorn entertainment and manages a few memorable action sequences, such as a flying ship battle towards the film's end.
VIDEO: "The Three Musketeers" is presented by Summit Entertainment in 2.35:1 (1080p.) Presentation quality is definitely very nice - sharpness and detail are first-rate, as the picture remained crisp and detailed throughout the running time (in fact, to the point where it made some of the lesser effects moments more apparent.)
Colors looked bright and warm, with no smearing or other faults. Black level remained solid throughout, and flesh tones looked accurate and natural.
SOUND: The film is offered with a powerful DTS-HD 5.1 presentation that really kicks into gear during some of the action moments, such as the airship battle towards the end of the picture. Surrounds provide terrific reinforcement of the action, while audio remained crisp, warm and well-recorded.
EXTRAS: Director Paul WS Anderson is joined by the film's producers on an audio commentary. We also get a picture-in-picture information/video track and featurettes, as well as deleted scenes.
Final Thoughts: Overall, Anderson's "Three Musketeers" isn't classic cinema, but it works as silly popcorn entertainment and manages a few memorable action sequences, such as a flying ship battle towards the film's end. The DVD offers excellent audio/video quality, as well as a nice helping of extras.
The Film B-