Written & Directed by: Randall Wallace
Based On The Novels “Vingt Ans Apres” & “La Victome De Bragalonne” By: Alexander Dumas
Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: William Hoy
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Judith Godreche, Anne Parillaud, Peter Sarsgaard, Edward Atterton, Hugh Laurie, Laura Fraser, Leonor Varela
Paris is starving, but the King of France is more interested in money and bedding women. When a young soldier dies for the sake of a shag, Aramis, Athos, and Porthos band together with a plan to replace the king. Unknown to many, there is a 2nd king, a twin, hidden at birth, then imprisoned for 6 years behind an iron mask. All that remains now is D’Artagnan, will he stand against his long-time friends, or do what is best for his country?
I remember being excited to see this in theaters with such a distinguished cast playing the musketeers and Leonardo DiCaprio’s first film right after TITANIC. Filmed before that film I believe but released relatively soon after. While I wasn’t a particular fan of that movie. I was a fan of DiCaprio. Who at that point. Had been gaining a lot of buzzes.
I really didn’t like the film as I watched it in theaters I remember being heavily disappointed and downright bored. It had its highlights but there were relatively few of them. Watching the film years later I have to say it is still disappointing.
It didn’t help that this movie was advertised as having more action than it ended up having. Watching it now even the action scenes aren’t very inspired or all that vivid. They lack any skill or any finesse and look like they are running and wrestling one another.
In fact, the only thing the film has going for it is the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio playing dual roles keeps your attention and shows here that he is much better in villainous roles. As he was on his way up to stardom and making quite a male for himself. This role showed he was more about the craft somewhat than the box office.
Other than him the actors playing the musketeers are so loved and fun you almost want a separate film all about them. As they bring life to the film and their scenes. Putting a spin on each of their characters. So that they show charisma and can be both funny and captivating often in the same sentence.
The film feels like a movie made to be watched in English classes teaching the book to make the material more vivid for the kids. As everything looks like a set and bland in the background. As the film never displays any real passion or energy. So that it almost feels like reading the book. Which I never have. It comes off as a throwback to classic studio adaptations, Where they just throw stars at the material and hope it sticks in with a certain audience.
The female lead, Judith Godreche really has little to do. She just seems to be a pretty face here. Her character is more put there to be a means to an end. The curse of her character is her beauty which sets everything in motion. As she comes across as a plot convenience and somewhat eye candy. So later the fate of her character never even feels that shocking or dramatic.
In the end, it feels almost like a school production only with a budget. The film at times tries but misses the target.