The Musketeer
Tim Roth, Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvarui, Stephen Rea
Directed By :
Peter Hyams
Grade C

The Musketeer is a loose revision of the story of D'artagnan before he becomes a Musketeer. Since this film seems to take a number of liberties, it might be unfair for me to try and compare the plot of the movie to the Dumas novel. In fact, most movies based on this series have fallen fairly short of being true translations. If you have any idea of the original stories, you have a pretty good idea of the path the film will take.

The sets and costumes are well done. The ambiance and visual appearance of the movie is fairly dead-on and works at transporting the viewer to the time period. Direction of the action sequences is also fairly decent.

Unfortunately, though, action is the main focus of this movie. While fans of Hong Kong action flicks will recognize a number of the stunts, for the rest of movie viewers will enjoy the sword play and stunts, which all have an excellent pace and energy. Some of the fights, while not believable in the real sense of combat, are a joy to watch.

Beyond the excellent fighting sequences, the story flies at a quick pace. It's obvious the story sequences are just a means to get from one action/fighting sequence to another. Even with a few fairly good performances by Roth, Rea and Deneuve, the acting and direction seemed without much emotion. The main character is emotionless and his fellow musketeers are not on-screen long enough for us to care about them.

What it comes down to is that The Musketeer is a Hong Kong action flick in French clothing. The story runs from one cliché to another. The ending is never in doubt and obvious plot devices are always turn up when you expect them to. If you want to see a good fight without the hassel of a story or decent emotional acting to get in the way, then this is your film.

- - Kinderfeld

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