The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan (15, 121 min)
Verdict: A real swashbuckler
It’s been 50 years since kids of my generation fell in love with the story of the Three Musketeers.
We were seduced in part by Richard Lester’s impressively rigid 1973 swashbuckler, but possibly to a greater extent (at least in my own case) by the same year’s feature film Hanna-Barbera, which was inspired by the animated segment in Saturday Morning’s show The Banana Splits television and blissful memory.
Of those of us who have come to know D’Artagnan primarily as a lantern-jawed pen-and-ink character (or, for that matter, as a rambunctious, if rather jaded Michael York in Lester’s film), I’d think a fairly small percentage also read the original 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas.
I don’t, I confess. For me, as for most of us, the famous battle cry of the Musketeers “All for one and one for all” has always been uttered in English.
The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan was released in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2023
Those heroic cartoon men certainly never roared ‘Un pour tous, tous pour un!’ neither did York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Frank Finlay when they took on Charlton Heston’s Cardinal Richelieu and his heavyweights in the 1973 live-action version.
All this brings me to Martin Bourboulon’s The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan, a rare and welcome interpretation of Dumas’s big-budget tale in his own language, which, like the film of 50 years ago, only contains the first half of the brings the novel to life. . The rest of the saga follows in The Three Musketeers: Milady, due out later this year.
Classic movie on TV
Stay with Me (1986)
Rob Reiner’s sad, sweet movie, based on a Stephen King story, is truly one of the great coming-of-age movies of the last 40 years.
C5, Saturday, 12:35 p.m
It’s a bubbly 17th-century adventure that cuts and bumps, swings and kinks from start to finish, never taking itself too seriously, just like in Lester’s film.
That’s a good thing, because there’s plenty of melodramatic nonsense going on, never more so than when the handsome aspiring musketeer D’Artagnan (Francois Civil), shortly after arriving in Paris from faraway Gascony, in turn finds Athos (Vincent Cassel ), Porthos (Pio Marmai) antagonizes him. ) and Aramis (Romain Duris), who agree to fight each of them in a duel. . . on the same day . . . at the same place.
The French equivalent of Robin Hood wrestling with Little John when they first meet on the narrow bridge, it’s an invention that has always felt forced and still does.
Yet it hardly matters. With Eva Green perfectly cast as the beautiful and unreliable Milady de Winter (Faye Dunaway in 1973), the beautiful Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri as the Queen’s secret messenger Constance Bonacieux (following in the footsteps of Raquel Welch), the breathless action and shadowy only ever leaving chicanes to give room for a romantic subplot.
The year is 1627 and King Louis XIII (Louis Garrel) hopes to avoid civil war with the Protestants who plot to overthrow the monarchy from their stronghold in La Rochelle. He can’t trust his powerful adviser Cardinal Richelieu (Eric Ruf), nor is he at all sure he can trust his queen, Anne of Austria (Vicky Krieps), who is rumored to enjoy an exceptionally cordial entente with a mischievous English aristocrat. the Duke of Buckingham (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd).
Louis is right to be concerned. Anne’s fabulous diamond necklace, his gift to her, seems to have disappeared. Rumor among his courtiers is that she gave it to Buckingham as a keepsake, and his courtiers are not wrong.
So D’Artagnan (partly out of duty, partly to woo the handsome Constance) and Athos (whose own neck has just been saved on a trumped-up murder charge) must get to England to retrieve the necklace in time for the Queen to can wear. it at the wedding of the king’s brother. Otherwise she will become French toast, even though she is Austrian.
Once they’ve crossed the Channel, Buckingham’s beautiful country house conveniently looms barely 200 yards from the white cliffs of Dover, and more conveniently there’s a masquerade ball in progress. Not that much is hidden from the unscrupulous Milady who has also shown up to pinch off the chain.
The film’s best action sequence follows – a cliff-top horse chase that might even have Ross Poldark (of Sunday Night Television) huffing in its wake, like he’s on a Grand National no-hoper.
Martin Bourboulon directed the film with François Civil, Vincent Cassel and Romain Duris
Any swashbuckler worth his weight in plumed hats and flaming torches should look good. This movie certainly does; it’s slickly choreographed with fantastic handheld and drone camera work, making it an even more valuable addition to the many screen interpretations of Dumas’ story, dare I say, than the cartoon action in The Banana Splits show.
Best of all, there’s almost no use of special effects (except, I’m told, to get rid of the odd annoying parking meter in close-ups of Paris). Aside from those drone shots, it feels nice and old-fashioned; a film, subtitled or not, in the escapist tradition of The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938) and Ivanhoe (1952) just when we need it most.
Help – I think my girlfriend is an international super spy
Dexter Fletcher’s Ghosted (15, 116 min.) is a movie I feel like I’ve seen 50 times before: an all-action romcom about a couple who get it together before one realizes the other is in fact is a super spy.
Still, it won me over. Chris Evans and Ana de Armas are extremely likable as main characters Cole (romantic Virginia rancher) and Sadie (crack-CIA operative), and it’s cleverly written (Deadpool’s Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick share writing credits with Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers). Plus, a classy supporting cast includes Adrien Brody and Tim Blake Nelson.
Anyway, the sexual sparks fly after the pair meet at a farmer’s market, but when she doesn’t return his texts, he decides to make a grand gesture and follow her to London, where, of course, he is kidnapped and being taken to prison. Khyber Pass and tortured, until she arrives to shoot all the bad guys.
By the time it really starts to get crazy – about 25 minutes later – you might feel invested enough in both to keep watching. I did. (Now streaming, on AppleTV+)
Dexter Fletcher’s Ghosted (15, 116 min.) is a movie that I feel like I’ve seen 50 times before. Pictured: Adrien Brody, left, and Mike Moh in one scene
I liked Missing (15, 111 min, ★HHHI) even more. It’s the kind of twisty thriller that could have been made less than a decade ago, in which an 18-year-old girl (Storm Reid) uses her teen tech skills to find her mother (Nia Long), who seems to have disappeared. while on vacation with her new guy in Colombia.
Missing is one of the best examples I’ve seen of a so-called “screenlife” movie, where the story largely takes place on the main character’s smartphone and laptop, via text, Instagram, Google, FaceTime, the entire I work. Writer-directors Will Merrick and Nick Johnson push the boundaries of credibility a bit, but it’s done ingeniously.
Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise (18, 97 min.), the fifth installment of the Evil Dead horror franchise, is also the most extravagantly gory; a violent stab, by Irish writer-director Lee Cronin, straight at the heart of the premise of ‘less is more’.
It mostly takes place in a shabby Los Angeles apartment building, where the discovery of a creepy 100-year-old incantation book wreaks havoc, and not in a good way.