Saturday, 18 October 2014

3 Musketeers (3½ Stars)

Why is it that whenever they make a film about the three musketeers the story centres around the fourth musketeer, D'Artagnan? This film is set in present day America, but it's no exception. Please note that the correct name of the film is "3 Musketeers", using a digit for the number. That should make it easy to distinguish from all the other versions that have been made over the years.

Alexandra D'Artagnan is a desk operative at the CIA who desperately wants to be reassigned to field work. She discovers a plot by a high-ranking CIA official, code-named "The Cardinal", who wants to assassinate the American president and blame it on North Korea in order to justify an American invasion of Korea. When she tries to pass on the information she is branded a traitor, and her colleagues try to kill her. Since she doesn't know who she can trust within the CIA she makes contact with an elite undercover team, the Musketeers, made up of Terry Aramis, Isaac Athos and Jeremy Porthos. Together they battle the rogue CIA agents in order to save the president's life.

The film has a lot that speaks for it. The fight scenes are very realistic, whether they're gunfights or close contact martial arts battles. The film's pace is rapid from beginning to end, with hardly a pause for breath. On the other hand, the film suffers from having a small budget. The scenes with fighter jet battles look bad due to the poor quality CGI. If they had been filmed better, with Hollywood quality, I would have rated the film higher. Overall the plot was credible, but the final scene amused me. After a film full of fist and gun fights, in the president's bunker there just happen to be two swords lying by the wall, so that D'Artagnan can fight her final battle in a sword fight. Ridiculous. But I suppose that with a film called "3 Musketeers" there just had to be swordplay eventually.

I stumbled on this film by accident. It's included on the same Blu-ray Disc as "Mercenaries", even though it isn't mentioned on the cover. That's a nice little surprise. I wish more film studios would give away free gifts like this. The only connection between the two films, apart from being made by the same studio, is that Christopher Ray, the director of "Mercenaries", is the producer of "3 Musketeers".

In the four musketeers there are two men and two women. The film doesn't have any nudity, but it does have brief scenes of sexual titillation. For instance, in one of the initial scenes Terry Aramis strips down to bra and panties before attacking her victim. The poor guy doesn't stand a chance.

"Reach for your gun".

"Wrong gun".

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