ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  peter hyams

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  chop socky

LENGTH  -  105 minutes

RELEASED  -  7 september 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  universal pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  the musketeer

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $40,000,000
the musketeer - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from the musketeer at

buy the dvd from the musketeer at

alexander dumas' novel is updated with an eastern influence as d'artagnan attempts to join the king's elite guards, the royal musketeers, and find the man who killed his parents.

movie goof: there are two jet contrails in the sky at d'artagnan's parents' funeral.


picture from the musketeer

picture from the musketeer

picture from the musketeer


one out of four possible stars

Not even enjoyable on a mindless action movie level, this version of the famous story of the Musketeers is full of inconsistencies and just doesn't really make an impact. Until you get out of the theater and realize that was really really a waste of your time and money. Hong Kong acrobatics or no, this film is just not that interesting. The trailers touted this film as a new realization of the story and I'm sorry, but it just didn't add up. Not only does the movie mope along in the same exact vein as the other bazzillion versions of this film, but the love story was pretty flat.

Add to that the dialogue was simply laughable and four hours great cinematography cannot make up for the fact that this film could knock Captain Corelli's Mandolin out of the running for the worst film of the year. And what a shame, because the supporting cast in this film is not too shabby. But with the script being so shabby, I don't think even laurence olivier could have dragged this flick out of the gutter. It's just so bad. I kept waiting for it to get good. About ten minutes into the film though, I realized that this film experience would be anything but entertaining.

Give me a sword, a one shot pistol, something to end this horrible experience. First off, I have to talk about the large amount of pistols in this movie that were shot so accurately. Doesn't everybody know that those guns were so hard to aim and so slow in loading, that it was virtually just chance that you'd hit anything with them? And yet everybody in this film is just so accurate a shot with them. Catherine Deneuve who plays the Queen of France, hits an enemy rider who's on horseback while she sits inside a fast and bumpy traveling coach.

She hits the rider not only while riding in this bumpy coach, but also fires it one handed. And she hits the rider right on the mark. Pretty talented for the Queen of France, huh? And something interesting about the marketing for this picture was that catherine received top billing for this performance. And she's not in even a fourth of the movie. Ah, the peculiarities of movie trailers. The trailer for this film certainly had me going. I thought that this would be a fun and interesting movie to see.

But, unfortunately, this is really not the case. It's too bad that the story and dialogue for this film is so shoddy, because the filmmakers had a pretty good thing going with the cinematography. It's really beautiful in parts. There are several parts where fog and mist envelopes the hills and old buildings of France. It's almost breathtaking. But it was all for not. No foggy scenes or classic architecture can save this picture. And the love story can't either. You've got two actors, one reletively unknown, and the other a popular rising star. And neither one of them really create a convincing character.

Perhaps it's Mena Suvari's gleaming white teeth. Come on. You're in 17th (or is it 18th?) century France and the romantic lead of the film has teeth that are whiter than a sheet of loose leaf paper. Sorry, not gonna cut it. I'm not asking for perfect historical accuracy or anything, because let's face it, this is a Hollywood film, but I would appreciate at least a small effort to create the time and place as accurate as possible. Add to those shiny white teeth a love story that really isn't very convincing.

The dialogue really resembles the sappy. Oh hell, it's just completely bad. Did the filmmakers not see the need for a rewrite on this picture? It's intersting, but the usually fantastic actors sitting in the supporting roles of this movie weren't able to make it at least a partially interesting experience. Sometimes all it takes is a few good performances in a film to make it somewhat redeeming. But this film just fails utterly. Not even Tim Roth (who in addition to picking this picture made another mistake by choosing a role in Planet of the Apes) can make this picture worth-while.

Though I have to say that he is a welcome change from the regular bad actors. But those lines of dialogue are still really crappy. Most of the time they're actually laughable. Okay, a last few lines on the acting job by Justin Chambers. Sure, he's new to the acting profession, but I have to say that the dialogue coach on this film really didn't do his or her job. Everyone except Justin's character of D'Artagnan has an English accent.

Now even though they're in France, I would have liked to have seen at least some sort of consistency in the accents. Hell, even Drew Barrymore put on an English accent to play Cinderella. I just don't buy the American accent in a France where the country of the United States didn't even exist yet. So, in conclusion, this film is crap. Just plain crap. There's nothing that strikes me "as I've never seen it before" and for all the effort they put into this film, it doesn't look like they knew what they were doing.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs universal pictures 2001
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