Dissecting Trailers: “The Three Musketeers”
By Kyle Anderson on July 5, 2011
Hello again, faithful nerds! Your old pal Me here again with another installment of Dissecting Trailers. There were quite a few new trailers released this last week and they were all interesting enough to be featured here, but I’ve decided to choose The Three Musketeers, for the sheer ridiculousness of it.
What the fuck, am I right? Let’s break it down.
0:09 – Pretty impressive establishing shot of the French palace complete with a generic yet heroic voice-over about fighting and dying.
0:13 – A ninja or something pops out of water and shoots guards with two Steampunk-looking pistol things. Wait, Steampunk is supposed to evoke the Victorian era, which is the 19th Century (1800s), but The Three Musketeers takes place in 1625, which is the 17th Century. Well, hopefully this won’t be a running theme, anachronistically speaking.
0:15-0:25 – A bunch of fighting clips where we don’t know what’s happening give way to the first spotting of an actual Musketeer, and it happens to be the Punisher with a curly mustache.
0:26 – People cheering and we see all three musketeers, then a voice over tells us they are the Three Musketeers. The titular line already? Dubious.
0:27 – An American kid with silly hair extensions and holding a sword, the one who said they were the Three Musketeers, says he wants to be one of them. Why would they let a weird twerp like him be a musketeer? D’Artagnan is the one who’s supposed to join them.
0:30 – “From the Classic Novel by Alexandre Dumas.” I have a feeling the makers of this version of it didn’t read the novel, but instead read a 15-year-old’s book report about it, written the hour before school started, and he didn’t read it either.
0:31 – The twerp IS D’Artagnan?
0:32-0:38 – Another sword fight where we don’t know who either participant is, though I guess we’re supposed to believe it’s D’Artagnan. Maybe.
0:43 – First glimpse of Cardinal Richelieu, the film’s villain, portrayed by Christoph Waltz. This is actually excellent casting I think. I have nothing snide to say about it.
0:47 – OrBLANDo Bloom on the other hand. He’s the Duke of Buckingham, I guess. In the novel, the Duke of Buckingham is having an affair with Queen Anne of Austria, who is married to Louis XIII. It is this affair that Richelieu wants to expose and start a war between England and France. In this film, however, the Duke of Buckingham has a wall of guns and looks like an evil insane William Shakespeare. We also hear that he rules the sky. What could that mean?
0:48-0:55 – The Duke unveils his new “war machines,” which are big ships with balloons tied to the top of them. Steampunk again. Also, ballooning didn’t exist until the 1700s, nearly 80 years later. Did the makers ever read ANYTHING? We see a shot of one of these shouldn’t-exist-in-the-time-period airships flying overhead and it drops an anchor into the middle of the palace square, making quite a hole in the ground. Why in the name of Ed “Too-Tall” Jones would they take an enormous metal anchor up into a ship powered by a fucking BALLOON? Lifting the weight of the ship alone would be almost insurmountable, but sure, why not take up a piece of metal the size of a Dodge Ram?
0:56-1:01 – “She is the deadliest assassin the world has ever seen.” “She” is the character of Milady de Winter, the Cardinal’s chief spy and apparently assassin. She’s played by Milla Jovovich, who contractually can only play roles in which she does aerial acrobatics and fights with swords the way nobody would have, ever.
1:02-1:05 – “Together they will unleash war on the entire continent.” Yeah, it’s a pretty big problem, but the ENTIRE CONTINENT? I really don’t think people in Luxembourg are gonna care what happens between France and England.
1:07-1:11 – “We’re the musketeers…” Okay, seriously this kid is not even trying to speak like a European. We’ve all come to accept that whenever a film is in English, everybody speaks with a British accent, even when the film takes place in France like it does here. Waltz will doubtlessly have his sinister Austrian accent which will work just fine, but this kid is not even trying, unless they Steampunk him too and say that he’s D’Artagnan from California just arrived via airship.
1:12-1:17 – “All for one, and one for all!” It had to happen, and probably will in the movie, like, sixteen times. Also various shots of cannons firing.
1:18-1:20 – Milla Jovovich also can’t be in a movie where she doesn’t do the incredibly improbable dodging of hundreds of crossing projectiles by doing a sliding limbo move. In a corseted gown even. Very impressive.
1:21-1:28 – People fighting. Also, there’s been a bunch of captions saying “The Legend Comes to Life Like Never Before.” Of course it’s never come to life like this before; up until now, it’s tried to be somewhat historically or scientifically accurate.
1:28 – A key turns in a gold thing in the ground; a clockwork something-or-other opens up leading to a staircase in the MARBLE FUCKING FLOOR.
1:35-1:36 – The bad guy with an eye patch puts the point of his sword impossibly close to D’Artagnan’s eye. This would be scary in and of itself, but it’s doubly terrifying knowing that this guy has no depth perception.
1:36-1:40 – D’Artagnan, a prisoner aboard the Duke’s airship, tells the bad guy to look out the window and we see Athos flying on another one about to light a cannon. He says “Round two,” which is about as generic a heroic phrase as anything said by Arnold in Total Recall.
1:40-1:44 – Athos fires the cannon and we get a slow-motion shot of the cannonball flying through the air and eventually it crashes into the Duke’s ship. This might be the most objectionable thing in the trailer for me. We see that the cannon ball is not actually a cannonball because it has a lit fuse, meaning it’s a cartoon bomb, the kind that Bugs Bunny or Danger Mouse used. Do they not even know how cannons worked?!?!?!?!? They were just like big guns and the cannonball was an immensely heavy bullet that would tear through sides of ships and what not using its mass to do damage. They didn’t ALSO have explosives within them. Why would anyone load a LIT explosive into a thing that itself explodes? The fucking bombs would probably blow up within the cannon when it was lit, destroying your own frigging ship. Also, why would you want to blow up the ship that has your clearly underage friend in it?
1:44 – D’Artagnan kisses a blonde girl we’ve never seen. Good for him.
1:45-1:50 – Aramis and Porthos jump from one airship to another, piercing the balloon with their swords to slow their fall, just like pirates used to do. Basically, this is a Pirates movie, let’s just face the music. Then, a similar shot of D’Artagnan, shackled, jumping from an explosion. Amazing for a non-running, two-footed jump.
1:51 – The title. Oh, I had no idea.
1:52-2:00 – The four heroes are kneeling in front of someone and Porthos says, “It was four of us against forty of them.” We then get more various quick shots of them fighting a shit load of guys during which a woman says “Was it forty or four-hundred?” to which Athos replies, “Just forty; it was an off-day.” HARDY HAR HAR HAR.
2:01 – The list of credits pop up and a keen eye will see that this film is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the guy who did all the Resident Evil movies, featuring the human dynamo that is Milla Jovovich. Immediately I understood. P.W.S.A. wanted to make the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film (which takes place in the 18th Century) but didn’t get hired and so, quite bitter, he decided he was going to find someway to make a Pirates-esque movie without actually making a movie about pirates. Someone said to him, “Hey, there’s a bunch of sword-fighting in The Three Musketeers. Maybe you can do that. And it’s public domain, so you can do it for nothing.” So he put in all the ridiculous shit he wanted to put in Pirates 4 and even cast Orloondo Bland, who I’m sure requested to be the Duke and not Aramis as they had wanted, to draw mental comparisons. Absolutely no time was spent in making anything close to period, but because Pirates and the Steampunk Sherlock Holmes from a few years ago made a bunch of money, Anderson threw all of that bullshit into this picture, despite none of it fitting or making sense. There is nothing I despise more in filmmaking than laziness in the writing for the sake of spectacle.
2:04 – It’s in 3D too. Fuck this movie.
That was a fun trip into my anger, wasn’t it? They can’t all be winners.
Until next time, the YouTube window is closed.
-Kanderson isn’t always so angry, but always tries to be humorous. Follow him on TWITTER to see for yourself