Friday, December 23, 2011

MA$$ACRE: The Three Musketeers (2011)

I've fully exhausted the dollar theater to the point where it was this or The Smurfs - well, okay, Midnight in Paris was also playing, but I couldn't talk my friends into it, and those who were on my side skipped out to watch something at home. The fact that I'm justifying why I saw this before even talking about the film does not bode well. You can stop reading now if you want. Do you remember when this awful thing was in normal theaters? No, neither do I. I'm willing to bet without fact-checking that this means it tanked at the box office, flew out within weeks of opening, is staying in second-run theaters over Christmas in hopes that some misguided families will see it, and then will be rushed to video in a desperate attempt to make up whatever millions it lost.

There is nothing to justify the existence of this cinematic turd. The story has been remade literally dozens of times, and this film adds nothing but garish visuals and costume designs that are offensive to the eyes. I'm leaving pictures out of this review because I don't want ugly stills from this movie on my blog. Logan Lerman manages to be cocky without an ounce of charisma as d'Artagnan, and the actual musketeers are reduced to single character traits: the strong one, the sneaky one, and the, uh... the... other one - the leader. None of them get enough individual screen time for this to matter though. Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom appear as villians, mostly to grab some cash I'd imagine. Maybe they delivered good performances, but I was too busy being agape at how bad their haircuts were to notice. Also, because it's a Paul W.S. Anderson movie, Milla Jovovich is in it. Eh.

It seems like rehashing an old story into a relatively inoffensive remake would have been reduced to a science by now, but this film manages to screw up pretty much everything. For one, it's ugly to look at. The set designers operate under the principle that more (of anything) is better, so we get massive courtyards filled with awful faux-period statues, palaces where every square inch of everything is gilded and chintzily ornamented, and costumes that try horribly to imitate the nearly self-parodying style of Tim Burton's recent work. The score could not be more blatant in its intent. It swells ludicrously with every line of already swollen dialogue and employs anachronistic instruments to the point of absurdity. Listen for the surf guitar chords whenever Milla Jovovich says something sinister. There is very little to latch on to in this film, but at the very least I can say that it chooses not to employ shaky-cam style editing for its fight scenes. Of course, the fights defy physics in just about every way possible and are more often than not clothed in lazily applied CG, but at least I could tell what was going on. 

I've already devoted too many words to this. You get the idea. Avoid at all costs, even $2.

0.5 / 10 = Stay away

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