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Timeless Classic Gets its Best Movie in Over Half-a-Century

21st May 2023 Print

Published in 1844, Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers has become one of the great literary classics thanks to its timeless themes and incredibly likeable characters. Being a tale of action and adventure set in 17th-century France, it has all the makings for a sensational big-screen experience in the modern day.

Of course, there have been several renditions of The Three Musketeers. It certainly deserves all of the attention it has had over the decades, but the latest adaptation, The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan, looks to be the best in recent history.

A timeless tale everyone can identify with

Even if you’ve never read the book or not seen one of the movies, you would have almost certainly heard of The Three Musketeers. It’s referenced so regularly, and its core theme is so well-known that it’s still nearly impossible to avoid. Even entertainment creatives seeking instant magnetism utilise the classic tale. Perhaps as far-flung as you can get from a novelisation, Musketeers: Heroic Spins presents the story’s entry among online slots for fun.

Nestled in there alongside the likes of Age of the Gods and Captain’s Treasure, the slot’s take on The Three Musketeers gives all of Porthos, Aramis, and Athos game-changing skills and features. The story itself is about camaraderie and against-all-odds triumphs, with the progressive free spins tapping into this by bringing them all together for the feature.

Of course, the most common place for The Three Musketeers to be retold these days is on the big screen. Across the world, there have been several adaptations of the story: some loyal to the source materials, others loosely using its tale and themes. The most recent big rendition for UK audiences was 2011’s The Three Musketeers, starring Orlando Bloom, Mads Mikkelsen, Christoph Waltz, and Milla Jovovich.

There was even a musical back in 2004 that starred the now-president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but perhaps the best English-language production before 2023 was the 1948 flick starring Gene Kelly and Angela Lansbury. In all of the renditions, from the slots to stage plays to movies, success depends on tapping into the themes of loyalty, friendship, and bravery in the face of great odds or evil.

Now, however, the story has come back to the hands of its native French moviemakers, and the result – or, at least, the first half of it – is glorious.

The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan might be the best yet

With international stars Eva Green and Vincent Cassel on board, the new Pathé production held a lot of weight, which is only buoyed by the presence of François Civil, Romain Duris, Lyna Khoudri, Pio Marmaï, and Louis Garrel. Part one of the ambitious Three Musketeers adaptation, D’Artagnan, hit French cinemas on 5 April and was only outdone by global smash-hit The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Critics and moviegoers alike have responded very well to the French-language flick from Martin Bourboulon. Naturally, not being in English, the sample isn’t as big as Hollywood releases, but its Rotten Tomatoes score is incredibly fresh at 100 per cent from ten critic reviews, with an additional 86 per cent score from the audience. Time Out deemed the film to be a four out of five, crediting the director for sticking to the novel and drawing its themes in ways befitting modern cinema.

On 19 April, The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan received a somewhat rare UK and US cinematic release, but given the praise received so far, it could prove to be a surprise hit at the box office. The second part of this superb take on The Three Musketeers, Milady, will arrive on 13 December – likely to much greater fanfare.