Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
Germany/Luxembourg/United Kingdom/USA, 2001. MDP Worldwide, Crystal Sky Worldwide, Signature Entertainment, D’Artagnan Productions Limited, ApolloMedia Distribution, Q&Q Medien GmbH, The Carousel Picture Company, Luxembourg Film Fund. Screenplay by Gene Quintano, based on the novels by Alexandre Dumas pere. Cinematography by Peter Hyams, Stefano Paradiso. Produced by Moshe Diamant. Music by David Arnold. Production Design by Philip Harrison. Costume Design by Cynthia Dumont, Raymond Hughes. Film Editing by Terry Rawlings.
Laughably bad adaptation (or should I say bastardization) of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Three Musketeers, that has D’Artagnan joining the swordfighters to avenge his parents’ death and save the kingdom from Cardinal Richelieu. But there’s a twist!! This time, director Peter Hyams has hired Hong Kong martial arts choreographer Xin Xin Xiong to reinvent the story with highly stylized fight scenes that will practically jump off the screen. Well, maybe that was the intention, but Hyams lights the fight scenes so poorly and edits them so quickly (possibly to hide the fact that they are all done by stunt doubles) that you can never tell what’s going on. Not that whatever goes on in between the few duels is of any interest to anyone over the age of three. Of its lead star Justin Chambers, one can only say that his good looks make his vacant performance and inconsistent accent at least somewhat tolerable, but there’s no denying that both he and co-star Mena Suvari (who gives the most insipid performance of her career) are both terrible, rushing through their dialogue as if they’re in a hurry to go home and forget the whole experience. The movie is ugly and cheap, never cohesive and completely wastes the time of such international stars as Catherine Deneuve (who looks like she’s having a boring time at a costume cast party) and Stephen Rea (who just looks worried that he spent too much on the costume). Tim Roth overplays his part so badly it’s as if he’s dying to kill his career over it. All For One, and One Is To Avoid This Film At All Costs!