Guilty pleasure: The Three Musketeers
Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson has his way with a classic tale.
Paul W.S. Anderson justifies the existence of 3-D, using eye-popping depth effects visible even in a flattened VOD viewing. While the majority of recent stereoscopic spectacles have been converted to the format in post-production (Hugo and Jackass excepted), Anderson’s forays are fully conceived and executed for the technology. His latest bauble is The Three Musketeers, which finds Anderson moving out of the studio and swapping Resident Evil’s claustrophobic horizontals for dizzying verticals. Granted access to Bavarian castles, he takes full advantage of their vaulted ceilings, shooting at high and low angles that privilege the bold lines of neo-Baroque architecture over the actors. With the introduction of some sublimely ridiculous flying dirigibles (think steampunk Da Vinci), Anderson continues his experiments in verticality, staging fight scenes where up and down become the new foreground and background.
These are disorienting and thrilling sequences, displaying a visual bravado that makes up for the Bieberesque anti-charisma of lead Logan Lerman (as D’Artagnan). The rest of the Musketeers (Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson) are amiably brutish; the actors swashbuckle without stunt doubles, also a trademark of Anderson muse (and wife) Milla Jovovich. She plays a supporting role (the double-crossing Milady) but takes center stage regardless, wielding her body like a dagger and then remorselessly stabbing people with it. Ignore the reviews (Rotten Tomatoes rates it lower than the Disney-fied Charlie Sheen version from 1993)—The Three Musketeers is a vertiginous, breathless showcase for Anderson’s lowbrow ingenuity. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 13.)