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The Musketeer
2001 - PG-13 - 105 Mins.
Director: Peter Hyams
Producer: Rudy Cohen, Mark Damon, Limor Diamant, Moshe Diamant
Written By: Gene Quintano
Starring: Justin Chambers, Mena Suvari, Catherine Deneuve, Tim Roth, Stephen Rea.
Review by: Joe Rickey
An anachronistic take on the legendary Three Musketeers novel by Alexander Dumas, The Musketeer is one gigantic disappointment of a film.

Peter Hyams is considered to be an okay director who is able to produce genre films that while they aren’t spectacular, they contain some entertainment value. From the horror action thriller The Relic to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s apocalyptic actioner, he has produced consistently fun films. With The Musketeer though, he has made a misstep.

The plot is your typical revenge tale. After witnessing the murders of his parents, D'Artagnan (Newcomer Justin Chambers) vows revenge on the perpetrators of the crime. He and the two other musketeers (Who are secondary characters we learn very little about) set out to do just that. The Musketeer costars Mena Suvari, Tim Roth, Stephen Rea, and Catherine Deneuve.

The film’s problems start with its ability to take what was a very interesting story in its original form and turn it into a stylized action film mixed with a rote romantic angle. Every opportunity in which there is the slightest possibility for a fight scene, there is one. While credit has to be given to the fact the fight scenes are sporadically interesting, the situations in which they occur are preposterous to the nth degree. Perfectly fine dramatic moments are interrupted by abrupt action sequences that don’t make sense logically. As a result, the dramatic portion of the film is undernourished and there is little in the way of character development.

Director Peter Hyams often makes the mistake of filming much of the movie in the murky countryside, which makes for one surprisingly ugly looking film. There is nothing worse than an action film where it is difficult to see exactly what is happening on screen.

The acting is just average at best. Lead Justin Chambers shows some charisma periodically but often is flat and comes across as bland. As the requisite love interest of our hero, Mena Suvari shows very little of the sexiness that was seen prior in American Beauty. She, like Chambers, gives a lifeless performance. As the menacing murderer, Tim Roth gives a performance full of a raspy delivery and a maniacal laugh. His performance is easily the best one to be found in the film because Catherine Deneuve, who usually can be counted on for a solid performance, seems to have caught the same illness that the majority of the cast contracted because she is stiff as the queen of France.

The costume design is adequate at best. The music is your run-of-the-mill score for an action film. Nothing special.

In fact, nothing special could be describe The Musketeer as a whole. From the fight sequences, the acting, the direction all the way down to the costume design, The Musketeer is one infinitely lifeless film. Recommended only for those who must see every Alexander Dumas adaptation.
Movie Guru Rating
Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable. Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable.
  1.5 out of 5 stars

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