1 March 2002 | giancarlorocks
A sinful piece of film-making...
It is imperative to note that before reading the following critical assessment of The Musketeer', I have a personal bias towards Director Peter Hyams. I have never met the man, nor would I bask in his company. Yet I would like to ask him one question. The question would be along the lines of, `Why do you continuously make horrible films?' This Director has made films in the past that have proved to be deplorable, yet he still continues to work in Hollywood. Before a reader mistakes this review for a critical bashing' of this Director, they are not mistaken. Simply watch the horrendous film that fuses Hong Kong style action with 17th century swordplay and one can determine the result without even viewing this film. Peter Hyams has directed Jean Claude Van Damme in Sudden Death' and TimeCop'. He has also directed Arnold Schwarzenneger in End of Days'. In his early work, he made 2010' and The Presidio'. These two films were generally regarded as decent films, yet it is clear that his best days are behind him. The Musketeer' proves to be one of the worst films ever.
If I possess hatred towards the man, I do not. I respect all Directors. The role of Director is the most respectable and most difficult task of any of the Cinematic tasks. Yet, what I do not respect is when Directors make no attempt at creating a vivid and intriguing film. Clearly such is the case with the misdirected and ultimately devastatingly boring of films with The Musketeer'. Hyams' latest debacle stars Justin Chambers (The Wedding Planner) as D'Artagnan; a man hell-bent on joining the Musketeers in order to avenge his parents' death. The classic Alexandre Dumas story has been adapted for the screen many times, yet never in a way that crucifies the script for the sake injecting a new style. Director Hyams adds an infusion of Hong Kong style to the swashbuckling scenes in hopes of creating an updated Hollywood-ized Eastern version of the great tale. The result another failure on Peter Hyam's resume.
Not convinced of this film's ridiculousness? View the first half hour of the film and witness for yourself the most badly lit scenes ever captured on film. In broad daylight sequences revolving around indoor discussions, Hyams (who serves as his own Director of Photography) captures his subjects speaking in shadows and dark profiles that seen completely out of place. Simply put, I could not get past this flaw. By this point, one may have realized the utter wretchedness of the film. I am deeply apologetic because for such a massive production, it is a poor, poor attempt at updating a premise that should be finally left alone.
On another note, I loathe the film and the Director simply because there is no attempt at creating a fun' film. The film's greatest flaw is that it takes itself too seriously. Notice Hyam's direction, the entire film is shot rarely without any moving camera shots or intense close ups. The discerning viewer may count how many times the camera actually swoops and follows the action on screen. Even thought the fight sequences are choreographed in an outlandish style and could have been somewhat entertaining, Hyams simply sets up his cameras from various angles and lets it roll. Unfortunately, the film is a horrible attempt at a fresh and inventive spin on a great tale. One last aspect to be noted the opening credits. They are completely amateur and moody just like Hyam's lighting. In conclusion, save your time and although the 1993 Disney Version was also horrible, it still was a whole lot more enjoyable to watch than this sinful piece of filmmaking.
Giancarlo's rating: Can you spell G-A-R-B-A-G-E?