Thursday Night Movie Club
The Musketeer
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Release Date: September 27, 2001

Director: Peter Hyams
Catherine Deneuve
Stephen Rea
Tim Roth
Justin Chambers
Joachim Paul Assböck
Jean-Pierre Castaldi
Jeremy Clyde
Patrick Dean
Stefan Jürgens
Jan Gregor Kremp
Marco Lorenzini
Nick Moran
Sven Nichulski
David Schofield
Steven Spiers
Queen of France
Lord Buckingham
Febre's Man
Inn Keeper
The Musketeer movie poster The Musketeer movie poster The Musketeer movie poster
The Musketeer graphic

The "Summer of the Re-imagined Movie" continues with The Musketeer. This re-imaging directed by Peter Hyams with Gene Quintano doing the script writing is aptly titled. This movie tells the story of only one single Musketeer, D'Artagnan, since the rest of the brave Musketeers have lapsed into boozing and whoring. As with similar re-imagings of "Planet of the Apes" and "American Outlaws", nothing is sacred anymore. Pretty soon, Moby Dick will be the story of the Great White Share, maybe Megalodon. But I digress...that's how great this movie is.

The Musketeers in actionAfter D'Artagnan's parents are brutally murdered by Febre, the young lad is taken under tutelage by a stranger who trained his father. The two form a life bond and the movie jumps ahead to the time when young D'Artagnan is old enough to exact his revenge and join his father as one of the proud Musketeers.

But something has gone wrong with the Musketeers. Febre, at the command of Cardinal Richelieu, has framed the Musketeers. Febre has attacked an envoy from Spain, killing all of the men and leaving clues behind pointing to the Musketeers. The King has no choice but to disband the Musketeers. Instead of trying to solve a mystery, the Musketeers wallow in their sorrow drinking and whoring all the live long day.

Enter our brave hero D'Artagnan, quickly immersing himself into the glorious mayhem that the movie provides him. D'Artagnan seizes the opportunity and protects the Queen, foils the Cardinal's plot, destroys the renegade Febre, rejuvenates the Musketeers, wins the favor of the King, and gets the girl. All single-handedly.

The Musketeer in action

This re-imagining of previous movies is getting out of hand lately. I will be the first to admit that I have not read Alexander Dumas stories, but I do recall that the political intrigue was much more involved than the politically correct version that this movie ends up as. The Queen is a sweet, caring woman who is shown little or no respect by the King. The Cardinal quickly realizes that his scheming goes against the best interests of the Church and enlists the aid of D'Artagnan to destroy Febre. We are left with the independent and mercilessly sadistic Febre as the only legitimate "bad guy". Its easier for the limited brain capacity of today's movie-going public to understand. Or better put, the director took the safe way out.

Jan Gregor Kremp as Darcy in The Musketeer

Other than the character names, Alexander Dumas would have a hard time recognizing this story. The action scenes are wildly imagined. Almost physically impossible. The sword fighting is so fast and furious that the actors could easily be fighting without swords and the blades digitally mixed into the shots. It is almost impossible to follow the action scenes.

Lost within the mayhem is character development. The acting is all wooden and boring. The call to arms of the Musketeers is about as thrilling as Kevin Costner's speech in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". This is not one of the more memorable movies from this year. As far as a mindless adventure picture, its worth a bargain matinee. It might even be better if you have no idea who Alexander Dumas is.