Summer's Last Action Hero ... The Musketeer

"Critics muse over a swashbuckler, a headbanger, and a summer that had very few cinematic highlights. But this fall's movie lineup holds promising possibilities"


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Disney's The Three Musketeers came to the big screens in 1993. In 1998, United Artists released The Man in the Iron Mask, starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Is there an audience for yet another new Musketeer movie? Audiences responded with a resounding "Yes!" this week, making The Musketeer the latest box office champ.

According to most reviews, fans of slick, well-choreographed action will probably enjoy a Musketeer matinee. Director Peter Hyams adds a generous helping of martial-arts-styled combat to his adaptation of Alexander Dumas' famous adventure story. But those more interested in a movie that mines the meaningful depths of the classic story will probably leave disappointed.

Critics in the religious media were as mixed in their reviews as the mainstream press. Several were grateful to find the admirable ethical standards of the hero D'Artagnan intact, but there were many complaints of tepid artistry.

Bob Smithouser (Focus on the Family) says, "Except for a few genre-busting action sequences … The Musketeer is nothing more than a dimly lit, frenetically edited seventeenth-century travelogue full of swashbuckling clichés." But he still gives it some credit: "In spite of the movie's overall mediocrity, TheMusketeer deserves applause. It esteems loyalty, compassion, self-sacrifice, patriotism, chivalry and modesty."

The U.S. Catholic Conference declares that the story "pathetically limps along, interrupted occasionally by an imaginatively choreographed fighting sequence."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) sees something significant in this recurrence of Musketeers at the movies. "[D'Artagnan's] integrity, purity, and righteousness is immediately recognizable and appealing. A man with integrity … a man with no personal ...

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July/August
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