Starting today, you now have the opportunity to see a terrible movie titled 'The Three Musketeers.' Most likely, you will, wisely, not act on this opportunity. I wasn't as lucky: my credit card was charged $18 in exchange for being allowed into a theater where 'The Three Musketeers' was being shown. As a service, here's an answer to every question that you could possibly have about Paul W.S. Anderson's 'The Three Musketeers.' (Honestly, I can't believe this movie exists.)
Q: When did you see 'The Three Musketeers'?
A: I paid to see an early Friday morning showing because 'The Three Musketeers' was not screened for critics in New York City.
Q: Why wasn't 'The Three Musketeers' screened for critics in New York City?
A: Because it's really bad.
Q: How does 'The Three Musketeers' begin?
A: With a voiced-over animated montage of exposition that all shitty movies start with.
Q: When do we meet 'The Three Musketeers'?
A: Fairly quickly. After the first montage, we're given a second montage in which we meet the Musketeers one by one -- who now resemble ninjas more than swordsmen.
Q: What are the Musketeers doing when we meet them?
A: They are in Venice on a quest for three keys that will open Da Vinci's vault. You see, with access to Da Vinci's booby-trapped vault, they can steal his plans for the ultimate weapon.
Q: What is Da Vinci's ultimate weapon?
A: A pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it.
Q: If you had to compare 'The Three Musketeers' to two other movies, what movies would you compare this to?
A: 'The Three Musketeers' is a cross between "Resident Evil' and 'Wild Wild West.' In other words: a lot of cartoonish, slow-motion action, combined with "old timey" technology that's better than technology that we have today in real life.
Q: So what happens to those plans for the ultimate weapon?
A: The Musketeers are betrayed by Milady (Milla Jovovich), who steals the plans from them. The movies jumps ahead one year and we find the Musketeers all still hang out together, but are retired and are still sad about what happened.
Q: When do they stop being sad?
A: After an arrogant young kid named D'Artagnan challenges all three of the musketeers -- all separately, and all inexplicably by chance, I should point out -- to a fight. But before they fight, 40 of the evil Cardinals' guards attack the four of them. Of course, the now four musketeers defeat the 40 guards.
Q: Since 'The Three Musketeers' takes place mostly in France, does anyone speak French? Maybe at least a French accent?
A: No. In 'The Three Musketeers,' most of the characters speak with an English accent. And the few who don't speak with an American accent. I mean, screw it: why even try, right?
Q: How many times is the word "retro" used in 'The Three Musketeers'?
Q: So 'The Three Musketeers' is about a pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it?
A: Good God, I wish. I mean, yes, the pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it is in the movie, but 'The Three Musketeers' manages to get much more convoluted than that. There's something about a necklace starting a war.
Q: Will you explain the plot of 'The Three Musketeers', please?
A: Honestly, it's humanly impossible because they've tried to mesh a few elements of the book with, well, 'Resident Evil.' But here's my best attempt. Christoph Waltz plays a cardinal who wants to be the ruler of France (I think). But he must get the King out of the way...
Q: Is the King a tyrant?
A: Actually, the young King seems quite reasonable and nice enough. He's even friends with the musketeers! So, to start a war, Waltz conspires (I think) to steal a prized diamond necklace from the Queen of France.
Q: Wait, how would stealing a necklace start a war?
A: Waltz planted some fake love letters from the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) to the Queen in the King's desk.
Q: Wait, what?
A: And the fake love letters from the Duke specifically mention that the Queen gave him the diamond necklace as a present for having sex with her.
Q: Are you making any of this up?
A: No. So, the King finds the letters and asks Waltz what to do. Waltz suggests that the King throw a ball in the Queen's honor. If she doesn't wear the necklace, he knows the letter is true. But, you see, the Queen can't wear the necklace because it has been stolen by
Q: Is this the point that you walked out of the theater?
A: Unfortunately, no. Now, with the necklace stolen, the Queen's lady in waiting -- who D'Artagnan is in love with -- asks the musketeers to go to England to steal the necklace back before the ball, which is in five days. And, while they're there, steal the flying pirate ship with a balloon attached to it, too. There's your movie, folks. (Yes, this could be construed as something that's loosely the plot of the book, too. If that's what you're thinking, Alexandre Dumas will haunt you.)
Q: If the King is a reasonable guy and likes the musketeers, why didn't someone just tell the King, "Hey, someone is trying to trick you?" Or, "look, on the roof, there are 10 dead guards that Milla Jovovich killed before she stole the necklace. That's proof that there was a robbery?"
A: Because this is the stupidest f-cking movie I've ever seen.
Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for 'The Three Musketeers,' what quote do you hope is used?
A: "This is the stupidest f-ckng movie I've ever seen" -- Mike Ryan, Moviefone
Q: Can you explain to me why Oscar winner Christoph Waltz in 'The Three Musketeers?'
A: The only reasonable explanation is that Waltz was not aware that there are two Paul Andersons. I imagine the telephone conversation went something like, "Hey, Christoph, it's Paul Anderson, would you like to be in 'The Three Musketeers'? "Hey, Paul, you bet I would. I loved 'There Will Be Blood.'"
Q: When Christoph Waltz realized that he was going to be in a movie directed by the guy who directed 'Resident Evil,' what was most likely Waltz's first word?
Q: Does 'The Three Musketeers' rip off "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn'?
A: During the climatic battle between the pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it that the musketeers are on and the pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it that the bad guys are on, the musketeers pilot their damaged pirate ship with a big balloon attached to it into a thunderstorm. What transpires is pretty much exactly what happens after when the Enterprise enters the Mutara nebula.
Q: What scene was the one that you laughed at the hardest this year?
A: When it appears that Milla Jovovich jumps to her death off of the very high up pirate ship with a balloon attached to it -- Aramis looks over and solemnly states, before Jovovich even hits the water, "at least she died the way she lived." Yes, plummeting to your death after jumping off of a pirate ship with a balloon attached to it -- exactly how she lived.
Q: What upset you the most about 'The Three Musketeers'?
A: The average male lifespan in the United States is just over 75 years. Which means there are an average of 657,000 hours in the average male lifespan -- and I just used two of those to watch 'The Three Musketeers.'
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
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[Photo: Summit Entertainment]