Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Musketeer

Go To
Truth in advertising.

Rochefort: You have an interesting fighting style. Where did you acquire it?
D'Artagnan: Here and there.
Rochefort: Perhaps there. Certainly not here.

The Musketeer is a 2001 film directed by Peter Hyams, very loosely based on the classic swashbuckler novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It stars Tim Roth, Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea and Justin Chambers as D'Artagnan.

As the title indicates, this adaptation beefs up the role of the main protagonist D'Artagnan, resulting in less focus on him and the titular trio being True Companions. The original plot is pretty much abandoned.

It also stands out among the many Three Musketeers movies by taking influence from the Chinese wuxia film genre of all things, giving D'Artagnan "exotic" Eastern-style Implausible Fencing Powers and making him do insane Jackie Chan-style stunts - like a sword fight in a room full of ladders, or while hanging on ropes while scaling a tower. The fight choreography was handled by Xin-Xin Xiong, associate of director Tsui Hark.

This film contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: D'Artagnan's servant Planchet becomes his mentor and father figure, a retired Musketeer like D'Artagnan's dead father, and a pistol-packing Gun Nut who carries a cannon in his carriage.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Love Interest Constance Bonacieux becomes Francesca.
  • Adapted Out: The usual Femme Fatale, Milady de Winter.
  • Ax-Crazy: Cardinal Richelieu's henchman Febre the Man in Black (Tim Roth). To the point that Richelieu has to plead with D'Artagnan to stop him by the end.
  • Badass Boast: After being honored by Cardinal Richelieu, D'Artangan whispers in his ear, "One night, I will come for you."
  • Bar Brawl: On the road to Paris, D'Artagnan stops at an inn where this breaks out. Rochefort is an observer instead of the one fighting D'Artagnan as in the book.
  • Blood Knight:
    • When D'Artagnan is surprised at the stood-down Musketeers fighting amongst themselves in a bar brawl, he's simply told "A man has to fight someone."
    • Febre is a darker version, killing targets against the Cardinal's explicit orders and stirring up a war pretty much for it's own sake.
  • Bowdlerize: Francesca is Monsieur Bonacieux's niece, instead of wife as in the novel.
  • Canon Foreigner: Febre is not in the original novel, and seems created only to steal Rochefort's role in the story.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Aramis and Porthos join D'Artagnan in a fight.
    Aramis: We just wanted to see how good you are.
    D'Artagnan: And?
    Aramis: You're quite good.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Febre goes after Monsieur de Treville, who challenges him to a sword duel. Febre simply shoots him.
  • Death by Adaptation: D'Artagnan's father, yet again. And his mother too.
  • Damsel in Distress: At the climax of the film Febre takes Francesca and the Queen hostage in a castle.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Febre is The Dragon to Richelieu, but its he that D'Artagnan wants to kill. And given that Richelieu is just an Anti-Villain and Febre a murderous sociopath, Richelieu is inclined to allow it.
  • Expy: Original character Febre is one for the depiction of Rochefort in the 1993 film version. Rochefort himself is a separate character here, ironically killed by Febre. He is also a Composite Character with Milady, both being Richelieu's ruthless assassin who turn out to be too dangerous to control.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Febre wears one shaped more like a bandage. This continues the tradition of one of the villains wearing an eyepatch.
  • Eye Scream: Febre is blinded in one eye when he kills D'Artagnan's parents. D'Artagnan himself did it as a boy.
  • Frame-Up: Febre and his men massacre a Spanish ambassador and his retinue and leaves a Musketeer tunic behind. Naturally, the King disbands the Musketeers. His actual orders were for he and his men to wear the uniforms and just scare them, but Febre got bored...
  • Interesting Situation Duel: The final duel between D'Artagnan and Febre takes place in a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with shelves of big wine barrels. There are also lots of ladders, with the two fighters leaping from one to another, walking them across the floor, swinging through space clinging to them, and finally, incredibly, balancing one on a center beam and using it as a seesaw for their final showdown.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: In the same room, at least.
  • MacGyvering: The Musketeers attach a fuse to a wine cask and use it to blow open the door during a Jail Break to free their captain Monsieur de Treville.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Rochefort, who is demoted from being The Dragon as in other movie versions. When Febre breaks away from the Cardinal, he tries to stop him but only gets killed for his trouble.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The Musketeers find Francesca in D'Artagnan's room (actually there delivering a secret mission from the Queen). When he has to tell them he can't help them because "there's something I must do" (said mission) they offer to wait outside.
  • Parental Substitute: Planchet raises D'Artagnan after his parents' deaths.
  • Sewer Gator: At one point D'Artagnan and the Musketeers have to lead the King and Queen through safety in the sewers, and the Queen mentions rumors of crocodiles in the place. Which transplants a modern American Urban Legend into 17th-century France.
  • Storming the Castle: D'Artagnan goes off to rescue Francesca and the Queen all on his own, but the entire Musketeer corps and Planchet show up to help.
  • Taking the Bullet: Francesca for D'Artagnan in the climax. she survives.
    Francesca: I'm not dead, now please go kill him.
  • Those Two Guys: Porthos and Aramis, since Athos is Demoted to Extra. They're respectively Fat and Skinny.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The King is portrayed as one. When Richelieu engineers a riot to barge into a royal banquet, the King just stands up and shouts "Stop! Stop! I order you to stop!" to no avail. Luckily D'Artagnan and the Musketeers rescue him and the Queen, but he then refuses to enter the sewers they had used to sneak in, until an exasperated Porthos asks him if he would rather go back to the riot.
  • Women Are Wiser: The Queen is much wiser than the King who's a bit of a sexist himself, telling her off when she wants to join policy discussions because "the role of a queen is not to think". He then orders his attendants to escort her away as "the Queen wishes to return to her chamber."
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Richelieu tries to do this to compensate for Febre screwing up all his plans (taking a fairly neutral political maneuver to give the Cardinal more influence at court and turning it into a Pretext for War in the process), but eventually he just gives up and sides with D'Artagnan.
  • You Killed My Father: Febre made D'Artagnan an orphan.