|One Direction on the set of their new video|
Like Resident Evil: Afterlife before it and a fact Anderson likes to shout about in the trailers, Musketeers is "shot in glorious 3D" not post-converted. It is surprisingly non-gimmicky with only a few shots of swords pointing out of the screen yet in spite of this, it still managed to give me a headache after it finished (it didn't help that the first 5 minutes were screened in bright flickering pink, causing me to go off searching for the most of elusive of characters - the multiplex projectionist).
I think it would be fair to say that the screenplay would qualify as being called "based on" Dumas's novel. I don't think there were giant hot air balloon war ships in the Ollie Reid version.
Anderson has made changes/additions to the story because he thinks they look cool, like an overuse of slow-mo that could rival Zack Synder, but they make for some plot holes which are even more logic-defying and dumb than the other recent turkey Abduction.
For example, Mi'Lady de Winter breaks into the Queen's chambers to steal a necklace and finds her path blocked by a maze of invisible razor wire that she must dance her way through. I can understand that it is a detterent to thieves but how is the Queen meant to get to her jewellry on a day to day basis? Impossible!
Then there is the question of how the Musketeers are able to reverse their airship out of the other airship they have crashed into on the top of Notre Dame cathedral?
I would be slightly more forgiving of things like this if the film had been fun but the only comedy was supposed to come from James Corden's servant character Planchet and most of that fell flat. The rest of the characters were too po-faced. Out of the musketeers, only Matthew Macfayden's Athos gets anything close to a back story and character arc, and Logan Lerman's d'Artagnan is a really annoying and cocky little runt. Only Orlando Bloom seemed to enjoying himself, camping it up as the Duke of Buckingham.
The only decent sword fight comes near the beginning where the four musketeers take on the Cardinal's guards, and nothing that follows can match this for entertainment which is an inexcusable crime in an action blockbuster (see also Superman Returns when Supes saves the plane). The action was so tame I actually spent a lot of time wondering why the so-called musketeers spent so much time using swords and not muskets?
One last thing... was it just me or was Anderson trying to showhorn in references to The Princess Bride by having a horse called Buttercup and Athos riffing on the "anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something line"? Just me?