"The Three Musketeers" (2011)

There have been numerous reincarnations of The Three Musketeers over the years, but the newest version is likely the most fun. You have Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich as villains, and a motley crew of others representing the good and the bad people of France. Add some 3D effects, which means swords clashing in your face, as well as giant ships used for "air travel," and voila! You have yourself an exciting, action-packed film.

The Three Musketeers (Luke Evans, Matthew Macfadyen, and an almost unrecognizable Ray Stevenson) are no longer in their prime, and thus spend most of their time moping around. The young D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman, Percy Jackson and the Olympians), a wannabe Musketeer whose father was one, travels to France to meet them. Instead, he stumbles upon each of them individually, not knowing they are Musketeers, and manages to anger them all. He challenges each to a duel, and when they all meet in the town square they reveal that they are Musketeers. The group has bigger problems, though: the Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz, Water for Elephants) wants them dead, and he has sent their army after them, led by Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen, Clash of the Titans). The group and D'Artagnan manage to avoid the army, and in fact are praised for this by the king (newcomer Freddie Fox), although they were supposed to have been reprimanded.

A year earlier, Milady (Milla Jovovich, Stone) had tricked Athos (Macfadyen) into believing that she loved him, while instead betraying him and giving her allegiance to the evil Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End). Buckingham and Milady are now back, for a visit with the king, and Milady and the Cardinal hatch a plan to propel England and France into war for their own benefit. The Musketeers, however, refuse to let this happen, and so they are off to England to steal back the Queen's necklace which Milady has stolen.

There's a host of different personalities in this film, and they are all excellent. You don't normally get to see Orlando Bloom as a villain, and he - and his handlebar mustache - play the role very well, although he didn't have as much screen time as I would have liked. The king was definitely an oddity (his outfits looked like they belonged more in Wizard of Oz than Musketeers), but his burgeoning relationship with his wife, with whom he had an arranged marriage, made for an interesting subplot. Logan Lerman, who has becoming known for the Percy Jackson series, makes a young D'Artagnan, but he meshes well with the rest of the group. I didn't even know until after the movie that Ray Stevenson (Kill the Irishman) was one of the Musketeers, as he has a shaven head, and Matthew Macfadyen (aka Mr. Darcy! ... from 2005's Pride & Prejudice), plays one of the others. The third is portrayed by Luke Evans, which is a little confusing because he looks like Orlando Bloom a bit.

Yes, see this movie. The 3D is not mandatory, but there were a lot of "in your face" effects, which were fun to see. The ending of the film definitely leaves it open for a sequel, and I hope that the movie does well at the box office so we get to see these fine gentlemen back in action again sometime soon.

The Three Musketeers is in theaters today, October 21st, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 110 minutes.

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