“All for one, and one for all!” — that ageless motto, evoking 17th century swashbuckling Frenchmen, sounds its familiar jingle yet again with the release of a new The Three Musketeers.

This time, however, we get “action fresh and modern for the younger audience”, according to director and co-producer Paul W.S. Anderson, the man behind the Resident Evil saga.

“I felt that every generation ought to get its own version of The Three Musketeers — one that reflects of that particular decade,” he says of the 1844 classic by Alexandre Dumas.

So in essence: a new cast, some peppy dialogue and novel visual effects — all in trending 3D.

 

Anderson’s “stellar ensemble cast” has some degree of critical acclaim: Logan Lerman, who leads as D’Artagnan, is coming-of-age in Hollywood, having appeared in Percy Jackson; the world-weary Musketeers are played by Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice), Ray Stevenson (TV’s Rome) and Luke Evans (the upcoming Immortals); and Anderson’s wife and cult favourite Milla Jovovich is triple-agent Milady de Winter.

Among the bad guys, Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) plays the conniving Richelieu, and onetime A-lister Orlando Bloom appears as the dastardly Duke of Buckingham.

D’Artagnan and his buddy Musketeers must protect the King of France from those two maniacs.

“The movie doesn’t take itself seriously,” Bloom confesses. “This is a pop culture, tongue-in-cheek, irreverent, fun, ‘go buy a big bag of popcorn and take a trip’ version of the movie. It’s not a historically accurate retelling of The Three Musketeers that the novelist wrote.”

Bloom’s devious Duke, with his hyperreal pompadour coif and garish frill-necked outfits, seems an epitome of the movie’s self-caricature. Even the Musketeers prefer to guzzle booze than spruce themselves up for action.

“I don’t know why we didn’t get the theme music from [the ’80s cartoon] Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds — instead we got [British pop stars] Take That,” Macfadyen jokes. “What’s more, I had a pang of jealousy for Orlando’s costumes.”

“All for one, and one for all — it does exactly what it says on the tin,” says Bloom, adding: “and it’s in 3D, and it has a gigantic airship.”

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