Disney’s 1993 take on The Three Musketeers has some fun things going for it, Kiefer Sutherland, Tim Curry, Michael Wincott and music by Michael Kamen. Sure it’s not much more than a romp, an entertaining one to be sure, but it doesn’t do much to make itself authentic. The film is set in France, but everyone sounds American and British.
Based on the classic source material by Alexandre Dumas, the film follows young D’Artagnan (Chris O’Donnell) on his journey to becoming a musketeer, a personal protector of the king, like his father before him.
He couldn’t have picked a worse time. Cardinal Richelieu (played delightfully by Tim Curry) has begun machinations to assassinate the king and the first step along the way is to disband the musketeers, something his right-hand man, Rochefort (Wincott) does.
Arriving in town, D’Artagnan runs afoul of three men, Athos (Sutherland), Porthos (Oliver Platt) and Aramis (Charlie Sheen) and finds himself meeting each for a duel, only to learn that they are musketeers, and they are off on an adventure together to save the King (Hugh O’Conor) and foil Richelieu.
There are some fun comedic moments even as the film tries to hit some of the familiar beats of the story, the duels, the involvement of Milady (Rebecca De Mornay) in the politics and behind-the-scenes plans, as well as her connection to Athos.
Sure, it’s probably not historically accurate, the accents are all over the place, and some of the dialogue was written for modern audiences, but it’s still fairly enjoyable with a rousing score by Michael Kamen, coming off his fantastic Robin Hood music. Honestly, Sutherland is always a lot of fun, and pairing him up with Sheen and Platt, both of whom he had worked with before, adds a fun sense of chemistry.
There are some nice action sequences, horse chases, and duels, and over all the film is fairly enjoyable, even as it leans towards the cheesy. This Disney entry feels like it has a lot in common with the Disney adaptations of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It very much feels like a Disney film; trying to capture the spirit of the source material and presenting it in a way for modern audiences and perhaps inspiring some to check out the original, and iconic, novel.
And sure, there was a pop song tacked on to it, much like Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood. Recruiting Bryan Adams again, Micheal Kamen helped create All for Love, which featured Adams as well as Sting and Rod Stewart, a pop ballad not quite as solid as Hood’s Everything I Do (I Do It For You). That doesn’t detract from the fact that the film has a real sense of play and fun about it.
And did I mention? Kiefer Sutherland.