REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — March 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

REVIEW: 3 Musketeers (2011)

Okay, just to make things clear here, I wouldn’t call this a rip-off of “The Three Musketeers” (2011), this is rather a “cash-in”.

So, can an Asylum “cash-in” get thumbs up with such people in the cast list as David Chokachi, Kane Hodder, Simon Rhee, James Lew and Alan Rachins? Unfortunately, it fails on mostly every imaginable level. Mostly…

It is obvious that Asylum wanted to make something of their own here, as they usually do, and “3 Musketeers” is what we get. If usually I viciously defend Asylum products, as sometimes I plain just like them, but this time I am not going to be so vicious for numerous reasons.

The story is your same old “D’Artagnian and three Musketeers try to do good and save everybody” is presented here with a modern twist, as we have Alexandra D’Artagnian (Heather Hemmins) who works for the government, and she somehow uncovers an evil plot to assassinate the U.S. president.

The only ones who can save her are Atos, Porthos and Aramis – the members of the notorious spy group, called “the musketeers”.

I wonder how many days it took the screenwriter to prepare a script for this film, but it seems like it could have used a lot more time. From the very beginning, the idiotism of the story spits a viewer in the face (along with rather bad acting and special effects).

The opening scene was so pathetic, I couldn’t just not describe it: A secret military North Korean base (in Pyongyang, I assume) have a fancy limo approach it, with our musketeers inside. The guards let them in, take them to interrogation room, where things start to go wrong, and our heroes have to fight their way out of the base.

The point is – not under any circumstances, not even in writer’s dreams would a North Korean military base allow some limo to enter its territory.

North Korea is world’s most isolated country, how in the hell did a limo get to its territory? Is there some other NK base in the world that we don’t know about? If the base is in North Korea itself, no one would be allowed even close to the gates of the base, let alone enter it.

When our “musketeers” try to escape the base, they call for a CGI back-up helicopter (where from, I wonder?) and escape the base, which seemingly had only 10 soldiers or so guarding it.

Poor James Lew. The man is a martial arts expert, and a respected movie veteran and a stunt actor. During the scene described above, Lew appears on the screen THREE TIMES as different “north korean soldiers”, who get shot almost immediately. Come on.

Same with Simon Rhee – he gets only one scene and he gets beaten down in 2-3 minutes if not less. What a waste of two talented martial artists and stuntmen.

Carl Ciarfalio, a true “king of episode” and an experienced stuntman as well appears here as an interrogation agent, and also gets his ass kicked by a girl (writer seems to like stuntmen getting beaten by girls).

When I saw Kane Hodder, I didn’t know what to think, as his skin looked so deformed, I thought he was going to turn into Jason Vorhees.

What it was in fact, is that a good portion of his body was burned badly in a stunt mishap during the late 1970’s. He suffered third degree burns over 50% of his body. Since Hodder usually plays either a small part or is covered in make-up, you don’t get to see this, while here, there are shots that clearly show those burns.

David Chokachi, the one from “Baywatch” plays General Lewis here, and he doesn’t seem to have changed much since his “pretty boy” days on the beach. He seems like a good actor, I wish he would be getting bigger parts in better movies.

You must be wondering why I am wasting time on describing the actors of the film. Its simple – the film is nothing to brag about, and really nothing to describe.

A plot can hardly be called one, with so many holes in it. All effects in the film are pure CGI (some are bearable, some god-awful). Editing could have been better too – there are so many cuts as if the whole film was a footage of Steven Seagal fight scene.

I can accept D’Artagnian and Aramis turned into girls, I can accept the way valuable cast members are misused (as Lew, Rhee, Hodder and Ciarfalio), I can even accept pathetic fighting scenes from people who have no idea what martial arts is.

But every effect being CGI, plus a plot that I simply cannot swallow (don’t even start with “this is just entertainment” or “don’t look for plots in these kind of films”) is just too much.

This is one of those “B-movies” that have very little of “good” in them. Not recommended, even for true “musketeers”.



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