How many Three Musketeers movies have we seen? Three Musketeers 2011 is another one. The "hook" is: the Three Musketeers as a 2011 action movie.
And so it starts with an Italian Job (2003) style heist in Venice, perpetrated by the three musketeers and Milady DeWinter (Milla Jovavich). The guys dress as ninjas, with collapsible crossbows drawn over-the-shoulder style. There are mechanical hidden doors, poison-dart booby traps, etc. Just what you'd expect from a modern adventure movie - I could almost hear "Throw me the whip" at one point. Then Milady betrays the boys, and we are taken to meet D'Artagnan and begin the standard story.
D'Artagnan is Lergan Loman, some kind of indistinguishable pretty boy, whose acting style draws from Val Kilmer, Tom Hulce, and maybe Seth Green. He does stunts well, though, so I won't complain. I have not much to say about the musketeers: Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans and Ray Stevenson as Athos, Aramis and Porthos aren't really very impressive.
Much better are Freddie Fox as Louis XIII and Juno Temple as the Queen. They are written as insecure teens and play it well. Christopher Waltz plays Richelieu with oily evil - invoking Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, as well as Charlton Heston from the Richard Lester version. James Corden as Planchet clearly watched Roy Kinnear's performance in that version as well.
Orlando Bloom is Buckingham, played as an over-the-top fop. He is conspiring with Richelieu to conquer France (and - dare I say it - the world!) with a fleet of dirigible airships. That's right, Three Musketeers with steampunk zeppelins. If you give up in disgust at that idea, this is not the movie for you. You probably didn't make it that far. For us, we just went, "Cool!"
Director Paul W.S. Anderson is apparently not Paul Thomas Anderson, who made There Will Be Blood, nor Wes Anderson, who made Rushmore. Nor is Logan Lerman any relation to Baz Lerman. I'd kind of like to imagine the movie if any of these gents had been involved. I'm sure it would have been interesting.
But although the writing was flat and the acting nothing to get excited about, as a roust-about actioner, I'd say this held up. We didn't see it in 3-D, but the sets and CGI were all gorgeous, and the fights and chases are fun. It is clearly based on the Lester action comedy spectacle tradition, and also the generic modern action film, but it does those very well, if that's what you like. And it is, and we did.