It’s been a while since I’ve seen a French action-adventure film of this scale so I really got excited. It’s a two-parter and this is part one, Martin Bourboulon (Eiffel) is directing, I’ve heard of his films but this is the first one of his I’ve seen. The movie is based on the 1844 novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, which I’m currently reading and am impressed with. It’s a star-studded cast with Vincent Cassel (Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, Child 44), Eva Green (White Bird in a Blizzard, Casino Royale), Romain Duris (Waiting for Bojangles), Pio Marmaï (Tempête, Undercover), and François Civil (Call My Agent!, Frank) as D’Artagnan.
Premise: D’Artagnan, a spirited young Gascon, is left for dead after trying to save a young woman from being kidnapped. When he arrives in Paris, he tries by all means to find his attackers. He is unaware that his quest will lead him to the heart of a real war where the future of France is at stake. Allied with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, three musketeers of the King with a dangerous temerity, D’Artagnan faces the dark machinations of the Cardinal of Richelieu. But it is when he falls madly in love with Constance Bonacieux, the Queen’s confidante, that D’Artagnan truly puts himself in danger. For it is this passion that leads him into the wake of the one who becomes his mortal enemy: Milady de Winter.
Review: For a story that has been adapted many times, the production design in this film is amazing. The sets and the costumes are great and really transport you into that world and that time. The cinematography is beautiful and nicely captures the atmosphere, performances, and action scenes. There’s a realism there that I like, the stunts are well-choreographed, and not overly CGIed. The story itself is easy to follow and strikes a good balance between political intrigues, romance, and power games with humor laced throughout.
The casting is very interesting, in particular, the three musketeers ones because I ended up loving them when I wasn’t sure they’d work. These actors can be funny and dramatic, they brought the right tone to their characters so as dark as this movie can get there’s still some levity in it. Civil as D’Artagnan is good, I enjoyed his performance, but he was distracting to me since I think he looks like French artist Orelsan and the whole time I wondered if they were the same person. However, Civil’s Orelsan-like charms weren’t as distracting as Louis Garrel‘s wig, who portrays Louis XIII in the movie. There’s a weird visible line on his forehead that I’m pretty sure is wig cap and not a wrinkle. As great as everything looks in this movie it’s the one thing I feel they got really lazy on.
So the first part of The Three Musketeers is an entertaining epic action-adventure film with a solid cast and grounded action set pieces. I’ll definitely see it again, at the very least before part two in December.
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