Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Project Asylum: 3 Musketeers

All for one and...I've run that joke into the ground.  Today's film is 3 Musketeers, a film that I actually saw a while back.  It's been hard to not talk about this crap for so long, but the wait is finally over!  This is a modern-day retelling of the story meant to coincide with the Disney version made last year.  How'd that film do?  Well, it wasn't a bomb, but it didn't exactly bring it boatloads of cash.  When you hire the guy behind the Resident Evil films to make a Three Musketeers film shot in Germany, that's what you get.  Like most of the Asylum's films built around movies that failed/under-performed, this one kind of fell under the radar.  It probably didn't help that it was one of the few Asylum films without robots and/or a haunted house too.  What were they thinking?  All kidding aside, this is one of those films like Princess of Mars and 7 Adventures of Sinbad that are just enjoyably-bad.  It's lower in actual caliber than Ballistica (which they may not have actually Produced) though.  It's hard to avoid the comparisons between the two films, by the way, since they share many of the same sets.  The only thing more common in Asylum films than a T-Rex are re-used Sets/Locations.  This film also shares an eerie resemblance to an unrelated film which may become clear to you as the review goes on.  To find out all of the reasons to/not to see this film, read on...
Our heroes are part of an elite government group called The Musketeers.  I'll give you a moment to stop rolling your eyes.
They run around on the abandoned Power Plant set used in both Ballistica and Princess of Mars while on a mission to disable some Chinese rockets.  However...
Their boss- The Cardinal- is not to be trusted.  This does raise a question...

If your group is named The Musketeers, why the hell would you trust 'The Cardinal?'  If you based the name choice on history, this makes ZERO SENSE!
At the end of their mission, he betrays them, making them vanish.  A Covert Ops team betrayed by their handler and forced to work with an outsider to stop him.  Hmm...
Their D'Artagnan arrives in the form of....*sigh* Alexandra D'Artagan.  Excuse me for a minute...
*Bangs his head against the wall several times*

Where was I?  Our heroine- let's call her Alex- meets up with the team after being attacked and betrayed by some people working for The Cardinal.  In a nod I will give them, she fights them all when she first meets them, but does join forces with them after that.
To get information about The Cardinal's plan, they have to break into his building to unlock a Hard Drive of his.

Okay, you're just blatantly stealing from The Losers now!  I know that it was a cult hit, but this is still lazy as hell.
Speaking of stealing, they blatantly steal the 'Electric Torture' Scene from Lethal Weapon, featuring...Kane Hodder.  That's random.

Oh and try not to stare at the size and girth of Kane Hodder's neck- you'll have nightmares!
In the finale, our heroes must stop an assassination attempt on the President, which will somehow lead to World War III (funding The Cardinal for a lifetime).  This leads to a quartet of action scenes that...are a mixed bag.

Hacker fight- good.  Lady fight- good.  D'Artagnan fight with a random sword bucket- silly.  'Hippie Dad' from Dharma & Greg vs. the film's most competent fighter- shit.

They win. The End.
This is the best kind of Asylum crap!  This movie is bad.  That said, it's constantly funny because of it.  Everything about the movie is either cheap, amateurish, silly...or all three at once.  Crappy CG effects that could be done for real (see the rope-line and sign-swinging bit).  Goofy fight scenes, when you consider that one guy is actually quite good at it.  Stealing plot points from The Losers and Lethal Weapon when you're already doing an Adaptation of a famous story.  Seriously, The Three Musketeers of the West was more faithful to this story!  This thing is a goofy, goofy mess and it's all the better for it.  This movie is many things, but it is not boring.  Even the eye-rolling crap like the inexplicable sword bucket (who put that there?!?) and Alexandra D'Artagnan is hilarious.  It may make you pound your head against the wall, but you'll laugh about it after the fact.  I'd rather watch this four times in a row than watch Monster, Death Racers or The 9/11 Commission Report again.  You've made me enjoy an Asylum film- even if it is for entirely the wrong reasons.  Congrats?
Next up, an Asylum film that got changed due to a lawsuit.  Sadly, I'm not reviewing Age of the Hobbits (now Clash of the Empires).  Stay tuned...


  1. I watched this one with Al, and I just have to expand on a few points here to really drive home the stupidity.

    1. D'artagnan. That's her actual name, and they even note that an ancestor of hers was a Musketeer, meaning that they're claiming the original story was historical fact rather than fiction. Meanwhile, the team of "Musketeers"--and the fact that a US Government team of special agents is named after a French group is a little odd to say the least--has the names of the other Musketeers, but they are codenames. (Or are they? They're clearly set out that way, but then Athos is called "Oliver Athos" at one point...I'm not sure Asylum even knew whether they were writing codenames or highly unlikely real names). It's just an annoying little thing. Seriously, why not have D'Artagnan named something entirely different, and then when she shows up, the others go, "well, you're joining the Three Musketeers, so you must be D'Artagnan?"

    2. D'Artagnan's introduction is hilarious. You see, she's translating a drama about the Yakuza from its original Mandarin into Arabic. This is silly for a number of reasons. First off, her language skills never much come into play in the rest of the film--since that's her main talent, you'd expect it to feature quite a lot, but...it's barely in the film (in fact, I can't recall a single "translation" scene, though I may be forgetting one). For another, the Yakuza are from Japan. Not China. The Chinese mobsters are the Triads.

    3. The Sword Bucket. Oh, man. This scene about broke us. A bit of setup is necessary: We're clearly building the entire movie towards a swordfight between D'Artagnan and a general--I don't want to give lots of spoilers, but it's a pretty clear indication from early on that it's going to happen. Both are supposedly skilled in fencing. So when the movie was entering the finale (at Camp David), Al and I started wondering how they were going to work it in, considering no one had swords around. We started thinking of possible ways they could work swords in. Maybe they use combat knives instead, or bayonets on rifles. Maybe there's a few Marine honor guard guys there with those swords they always have in dress uniforms and all, and they get killed and those swords are used. Maybe there's a Revolutionary war crossed-swords decoration on the wall. Maybe the villain plants a couple fencing swords there in an attempt to get the president (who is interested in fencing) to spar against him, but his sword is secretly real. Maybe the North Korean soldiers who came had swords. I don't know. Anyway, we both had like 7-10 possible okay to good explanations in our heads. What did they do?

    Two real swords just sitting in a bucket for no reason whatsoever.

    Seriously. There is no reason for it. There is no explanation. There just happen to be two real swords sitting in a random bucket in a conference room in Camp David. Is...there some strange element of international politics of which I'm not aware, in which the president regularly duels foreign dignitaries to the death? Why were they there? And why were they in a bucket? I mean...I would even accept them as emergency armaments in case of attack...I don't know why you wouldn't have guns too, but whatever! But at least have them in some secret wall cabinet or something in that case! Why are there swords in a bucket in Camp David?

    That scene seriously broke my brain.

    It does not help, by the way, that both swordfights in the film (D'Artagnan vs. the girl Musketeer...I forget if she was Porthos or Aramis...and D'Artagnan vs. the general) were horrid. Pretty painful to watch...clumsy strikes, clear patterns, and an utter lack of any appearance of an actual fight.

  2. Oh, and 4: She's not threatening! One of the villains in the film is this woman who they continually try to suggest is a really scary badass, and all the characters always flee from her whenever she shows up...but she just utterly fails at being threatening. She never seems tough, always looks kind of confused or lost, and is pretty easily bested any time she's actually confronted or someone tricks her. It's this weird juxtaposition that's difficult to actually explain...everything about how she's filmed and how the characters react tells you this is supposed to be a major badass enemy, but everything about how the story actually treats her suggests she's just your average "beaten in three seconds" henchwoman. And then they have her go toe-to-toe with the girl Musketeer at the end in an even fight. O_O

    Like Al noted in the review above, too...only one of the actors has any talent in the fight scenes, the Asian guy who played (I think) Athos. He actually pulled off some pretty good-looking moves and made it look like he was really fighting hard, and I was pretty impressed to see that in an Asylum film. The rest...well, they're pretty much what you'd expect. And that final fight between Athos and the Cardinal...even with Athos shot, that should have ended in an Athos victory in about four seconds. They did not in any way make the Cardinal a worthy threat for him in melee combat. I could see a shootout or something, maybe, or see it if Athos was even more injured or also drugged or something, but...the Cardinal was just not a convincing fighter and the choreography did not make him an effective threat. It was pretty sad...Athos, being the best fighter they had, should have gotten a fight scene against a guy that could match a faster-paced, martial arts fighting style, or a big, threatening musclebound guy or something. Instead we got an older guy who couldn't move too well using a really, really basic boxing style, and Athos trying to act too tired from blood loss to pull off anything major, and we just couldn't buy it at all.

    Still...like Al said, this is one of the more hilarious Asylum movies for bad movie buffs to watch. It's a lot of fun--albeit not for the reasons the filmmakers wanted--and has some utterly hilarious "WHAT?" moments. I highly recommend it if you want a bad, but not boring film to watch, especially if you have friends to share it with. See how many possible alternative explanations you can come up with for swords being at Camp David! How long did we discuss that, Al? I think we talked over the possible explanations for like an hour or more. O_O The Asylum clearly took about thirty seconds to go over their ideas before settling on "sword bucket."

  3. I want you to know that I think you are such a asshole for posting that pic of Kane Hodder and the stupid comment about his neck,he is a good friend of mine and I for one take that very personal,do you have any idea what he went through with his burns,if he were to ever see that i am sure it would be hurtful you selfish fucker!

  4. For the record, my comments were about the odd 'neck to head' ratio. I'd never make fun of a guy for getting burned. I have never made fun of Richard Lynch for it.

    Oh and I say this in all honesty: I really doubt that Kane Hodder would give two shits about what I think.

    Just to cover my bases if he ever does read this- you're awesome, Kane Hodder- weird neck to head ratio and all.