This British stab on the deathless Dumas novel refuses to heed its personal operating gag: all the time run within the face of overwhelming odds. On this case it’s the approaching arrival of a star-bejewelled, two-part French adaptation with Vincent Cassel, Eva Inexperienced, Romain Duris and Vicky Krieps. As an alternative, it places up a valiant stand – led by fairly plush manufacturing and costume design for what’s presumably a low-budget affair. However lastly it waves its colors in give up, let down by patchy appearing and unimaginative route.
It at the least boasts one first: a black D’Artagnan (Malachi Pullar-Latchman). No matter your stance on “racelifting”, on this occasion it really works fairly effectively: emphasising the would-be musketeer’s outsider however upwardly cell standing as he arrives in Paris, and contours up back-to-back duels with Athos (Ben Freeman), Porthos (David O’Mahony) and Aramis (Jake J Meniani). You understand the drill: lusty brawling, quick friendships and a headlong rush to cease the evil De Rochefort (James Oliver Wheatley) and OG femme fatale Milady (British Asian actor Preeya Kalidas) from toppling Louis XIII.
Aside from the pointed casting, this stripped-back model doesn’t actually know what it needs to be: is it a gritty, contemporary-flavoured take, or bodice-rippingly camp? It leaves Pullar-Latchman to aimlessly mount a head-on assault on the fabric, incessantly reverting to broad, RP-flogging Historic Appearing, somewhat than something private or idiosyncratic. Director Invoice Thomas had some apply on final 12 months’s The Adventures of Maid Marian, however his work too usually buckles the place it ought to swash. A number of musketeer response pictures are poorly framed the place he ought to be in like Flynn – although issues enhance as soon as the outside chase will get underneath manner.
O’Mahony’s recreation Porthos comes off strongest, with the larky interludes – together with being waylaid by a pair of aristocratic highwaywomen-cum-prostitutes – marking out probably the most profitable features for this model. Rounding off a half-baked romp, although, James Cosmo is a disappointingly cuddly Cardinal Richelieu – with only one solitary fiendish eyebrow-raise and 0 moustache twirls.