Film / The Three Musketeers (2011)

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The Three Musketeers is a 2011 film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, loosely based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It stars Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, and Ray Stevenson as the three Musketeers, and Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom, Mads Mikkelsen and Milla Jovovich as the villains.

Among the many film adaptations of the novel, it stands out by taking the story into an Alternate History setting with elements of Clock Punk. Most notably, it has airships.


This film provides examples of:

  • Always Save the Girl: Double Subverted. D'Artagnan is initially willing to sacrifice Constance, saying their mission to save France is more important. Athos encourages him to save her so he doesn't become a lonely and bitter man like him after he lost Milady.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Richelieu spars with three Mooks at once in one scene.
  • Avoiding the Great War: This film contains perhaps the earliest example of this trope as far as the time period goes. The villains were trying to start a war among the empires of Europe. While the dialogue focuses on the continent, the idea is still the same, not to mention that a war of the European powers at the time would have likely included colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: D'Artagnen blocks Rochefort's sword with the back of his hand and later catches it. Both feats leave his hand bloody.
  • Batman Gambit: Richelieu's makes up the plot, so the Musketeers counter with their own Kansas City Shuffle; Milady knows what they'd normally do, and they know she knows, so they decide to send D'Artagnan in as a decoy to get Buckingham cocky enough to let down his guard so the other musketeers can steal Buckingham's Cool Airship, which they can then use to kidnap Milady, who sure will have the jewels they need because she would never trust anyone else to keep them!
  • Battle Couple: Athos and Milady, before her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Badass Beard: This movie is filled with badass beards and Badass Mustaches.
  • Beneath Notice: Used to great effect by Planchet.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: A rare example of Milady playing two sides, ending up as a potential duumvirate with either Richelieu or Buckingham. She goes with the latter.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, this movie ends fairly high on the side of Idealism; sure, Richelieu's a Karma Houdini, but his plot failed, the Musketeers have renewed confidence in themselves and their work, and King Louis hints that he's going to start taking his job a lot more seriously. Oh, and Milady's Not Quite Dead, and she and Buckingham are on route to France with an entire warfleet Of course - Brits may cheer at that!.
  • Camp Straight: Louis XIII. At first he exudes a crapload of Ho Yay at the beginning of the movie, but it's revealed later on that he genuinely cares for his Queen, he just Cannot Spit It Out, though historians think Louis may have been bisexual, so he might have been interested in D'Artagnan as well anyway.
  • The Chessmaster: Richelieu, of course; he also uses Chess Motifs a lot throughout the movie.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: the King's first (on-screen) meeting with the Three Plus One Musketeers. Richelieu seethes while the King rewards them for it.
    "Oh, and, yes, before I forget: no more fighting with His Eminence's guards. Or there'll be none of them left."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Richelieu knows full well that Milady is capable of this, being such a Wild Card, and reminds her that he's more than willing to see she's Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves if she even thinks of betraying him.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: Porthos does this during the assault on the Tower of London.
  • Clock Punk: The setting predates the steam engine, so... Besides the airships, there's scuba gear and automatic mortars.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Many, but Porthos stands out among the Musketeers. He only gets his sword out by the final act, smacking enemies around by any number of ways for the rest of the film.
    • For the villains, Rochefort takes the cake by far. His first "duel" with D'Artagnan ends abruptly when he shoots him the second he turns back around. He tries to do the same thing towards the end.
    D'Artagnan: Afraid to face me in a fair fight?
    Rochefort: No, I just don't fight fair.
  • Costume Porn: Nearly everyone, and King Louis and Buckingham's outfits are especially fabulous.
  • The Dandy: Almost every important character sports fancy clothes at some point, but King Louis seems the most concerned about them.
  • Death by Adaptation: Rochefort.
  • Disney Villain Death: Milady which turns out to be a Disney Death.
  • The Dragon: Rochefort.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The Musketeers are doing this after being betrayed by Milady... or they would do, if they had any money.
  • Elite Army: This version takes this and the Praetorian Guard aspects of the Musketeers played up in other movies Up to Eleven so that they're essentially royal Special Forces. Also the three Musketeers make up the entire corps, until D'Artagnan makes four.
  • Fighting Dirty: Turns out Rochefort figured the winner in Guns vs. Swords: guns win.
  • The Heavy: Milady, whose treachery set the whole plot in motion to begin with.
  • High Dive Escape: Milady does this rather than be shot on the airship.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Leonardo da Vinci (post mortem), Buckingham, and Cardinal Richelieu.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Duke of Buckingham - from incompetent Camp Straight (bordering Camp Bisexual) to Badass Magnificent Bastard to rival Richelieu. Being played by Orlando Bloom certainly helped.
    • You'd think the same applies to Richelieu, but, looking at the guy's real-life career, his plot in this film fits right in.
  • I Have This Friend...: King Louis invokes this when having a guy talk with D'Artagnan. D'Artagnan plays along, because it's the King.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Slight subversion with Richelieu; everyone but the King and Queen has to kiss his ring after an audience, because that's what you have to do to a Cardinal; he often uses it as a way of letting people know he's done talking to them.
  • I Know You Know I Know: The break-in at the Tower of London takes this to amusing levels. Milady, who's worked with them in the past, knows their methods, and can give Buckingham the information. They know she knows their methods and will tell Buckingham. She knows they know she knows and will tell Buckingham. The English capture D'Artagnan, who she knew they'd use to infiltrate while the others acted as decoys, assuming she wouldn't take him into account. Turns out, they knew she'd do that, he's the decoy, and they do something completely different.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: On a very huge scale - a galleon-sized airship gets impaled on the largest spire of the Notre Dame cathedral!
  • It's Personal: It certainly is with Athos.
    Milady: You didn't kill Buckingham, but you'll kill me?
    Athos: Yes... I don't hate Buckingham.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Milady with the booby-trapped vault corridor.
  • Large Ham: Orlando Bloom quite clearly is having a grand old time. Then again, much of the cast looks like they're having a lot of fun. Even Milla, of all people. Intriguingly, Christoph Waltz averts this as Richelieu, a historically prize ham role.
  • Layman's Terms: When Aramis gives D'Artagnan a ticket, including a Translation Convention joke.
    Aramis: Failure to remove animal bowel movements from public area.
    D'Artagnan: French.
    Aramis: Your horse took a dump on the street.
  • Master Swordsman: Obviously, but oddly enough, Rochefort seems to be the best example in the film. He totally dominates his climatic battle with D'Artagnan, who is easily on par with the Musketeers in his skill.
  • Monumental Battle:
    • The Musketeers busting D'Artagnan out of the Tower of London. ( Via airship!)
    • The airships end up fighting rather close to the Notre Dame in Paris. ( As it turns out, a bit TOO close for one of them...) And then, D'Artagnan and Rochefort continue with swashbuckling on its roof.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • The Musketeers' attack on one particular room in the Tower of London must have caused at least some destruction to this part of the building. (In any case, a lot of fire can be seen when they fly away.)
    • Also, the Notre Dame in Paris, at least if some broken off spire tips and shattered roof tiles already count.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Early in the movie D'Artagnan learns this lesson, and barely survives it. See Fighting Dirty, above.
  • Sequel Hook: Milady survived and Buckingham now has a whole army of airships to fight back. Obviously a setup for The Four Musketeers.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Milady double-crosses the titular Musketeers, her former partners, leading to their downfall.

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