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  • Colin Fraser


THREE AND A HALF STARS D'Artagnan becomes the fourth musketeer in order to save the French Queen's honour.


Starring François Civil, Vincent Cassel

With his swash and buckle firmly attached, director Martin Bourboulon (EIFFEL) has crafted a lavish period crowd-pleaser to please all but the most hard-to-please crowds.

Alexandre Dumas’ rousing tale of four musketeers protecting the King’s realm and a Queen’s reputation has been a cinema staple since cinema began. Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920’s, Van Heflin in the 40’s, Oliver Reed in the 70’s, Chris O’Donnell in the 90’s and Luke Evans just over a decade ago. Now, in what some are calling the definitive French version, François Civil squares off against perfidious priests and a treacherous Eva Green.

The story’s appeal is obvious. Romance runs riot as brave soldiers fight for Crown and Country against corrupt cardinals and mischievous monks with more horses, pistols, sword play and daring-do than any film has a right to enjoy. Set against sumptuous locations and dressed in even more sumptuous costumes, it’s a timely reminder of the value of honour, integrity and courage all served up with a twinkling eye and a wry smile. What’s not to like?

THREE MUSKETEERS: D'ARTAGNAN opens as an ambitious young man arrives in Paris with a note from his Dad and plans to join the King’s Guard. Wasting no time, he offends three different noblemen and is challenged to three different duels, all before lunch. Events spiral quickly and before you can say one for all, three become four, embroiled in a serpentine plot to overthrow the monarchy. Naturally the musketeers are on the side of Good as they attempt to thwart the Bad Cardinal, his spies and their plan to compromise the Queen, expose her romantic dalliance with an English lord and snatch the crown. Mon dieu!

With an all-star cast led by staples Pio Marmaï, Romain Duris and Vincent Cassel alongside relative newcomers Louis Garrel, Vicky Krieps, Green as the Cardinal’s scheming spy and Civil her nemesis D’Artagnan, Bourboulon doesn’t have to work hard to keep the energy up. They’re all having a fine old time, enthusiasm pouring off the screen with such force it’s near impossible not be taken along for the ride. And why would you want to resist?

Her plan in tatters for now, Green rides into the sunset with twirl of her virtual moustache but, as with all good swash-bucklers, she'll soon be back. The cracking good fun is to be continued in the equally entertaining THE THREE MUSKETEERS PART 2: M’LADY, already heading to a cinema near you. En garde!



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