Alexandre Dumas’ classic French novel The Three Musketeers is set to swashbuckle into theaters this October. The story has been adapted for the big screen at least twenty times before, notably in 2001 with a completely different story and only one musketeer. It also starred a regular from Grey’s Anatomy. Judging by the trailer, this new adaptation seems both more faithful and less god-awful than that version. At the very least, it has the correct number of musketeers.
“Hey guys. Do you hear Bryan Adams? Or is that Sting?”
But with the story so familiar to audiences worldwide, does this version improve on one of the most beloved examples of world literature? It certainly tries. Here are its top five most shameless attempts at improvement.
5. It’s in three dimensions.
It’s good to know that The Gimp from Pulp Fiction is still getting work.
One thing about books is that they’re so flat. Plus, readers have to think… and use their imaginations… and sound out hard words. Moving pictures are simply easier to follow, especially if they’re jumping straight at you. Who needs clever wordplay when you can watch a guy in a leather mask poking at you with grappling hooks?
4. Things explode.
Thanks to the recently ratified
Statute, Michael Bay
Hollywood movie trailers must have at least
two main characters jumping through holes.
Sure, the novel had a bunch of political intrigue and chivalry and junk, but this version blows up
! Also, some of the explosions are surely in slow motion, so you can savor the three dimensional rubble pelting your popcorn-eating face. No piece of literature, not even the Anarchist Cookbook, offers that much bang for your buck. France
3. The plot is totally feminist now.
Who knew that seventeenth century French
people invented Matrix-style bullet time?
Remember how the original novel involved d’Artagnan fighting stuff because he was in love with some countess? Well, this movie improves on all that plot nonsense, because now the women fight too. Surely this is more historically accurate. If I remember anything from French history, it’s that Marie Antoinette decapitated a bunch of people who tried to eat her cake… or something like that.
2. There’s unnecessary nudity.
Here is the countess showing off some serious shoulder skin. Hey now.
Just to show that the movie isn’t
TOO feminist, the countess takes a break from spinning roundhouse kicks to show off some skin. Because this is still an American action film, female nudity will outnumber male nudity by at least two sets of boobs. There is, however, a slight chance of a few humorous butt shots. For example, the three title characters might get drunk and go skinny dipping. If this happens, then the rules of cinema dictate that some French peasants will steal their clothes and they’ll walk back into town while trying to cover their privates with leaves or hats. Either way, we’ll take what we can get.
1. And the number one way that this movie tries to outdo the book: its cast is really, really good looking.
This is the new d’Artagnan, played by
(Percy Jackson and the Harry Potter Ripoff), who has
grown up a lot since audiences first saw him as
mini-Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect.
Previous movies certainly didn’t skimp on the beefcake, but they were usually a mixed bag. For every Chris O’Donnell, there was always an Oliver Platt. Here, we have Mr. Darcy, the Punisher, Will Turner, and Percy Jackson, among several others. The cameras will probably spend a lot of the movie lingering on Milla Jovovich as she jumps around and jiggles in the right places, but gay fans will certainly have enough to ogle.
And for the sake of comparison, here is the real life d’Artagnan, who would probably be played by Helena Bonham Carter with a fake beard:
Do these blatant attempts to modernize the classic novel mean that the movie will be any good? Nope. But as the above picture shows, sometimes the originals could stand a facelift.