Sunday, March 27, 2011

Movie Rant: Dumbed Down Dumas

Alexandre Dumas
This is exactly why I hate Hollywood sometimes. Not only do they rarely come up with an original concept, but when they do decide to borrow wonderful stories from people a million times more clever and articulate than they will ever be, they go and destroy their work. Rip it to shreds. Cheapen it in every way possible.

Alexandre Dumas is one of my favourite authors and The Three Musketeers is one of my favourite books ever. Period. That being said, it has never been adapted properly on film, which is a shame because, if put in the right hands, it could be epic. Instead, it's always played for laughs (which is odd because the book isn't exactly a slap-your-knee-hilarious piece of literature).

When I first heard that there was to be yet another remake of this classic, I cringed. But then I thought, it couldn't possibly be worse than that Kiefer Sutherland-Charlie Sheen-Chris O'Donnell fiasco from 1993, right? Apparently I was way off the mark. While I was too busy getting all excited about the prospect of the wonderful Christoph Waltz taking on the role of Cardinal Richelieu in this 2011 "re-imagining," I didn't stop to look at the rest of the film's credits -- Orlando Bloom, Milla Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson, the man who gave us, ...wait for it ..., the Resident Evil franchise. Wow. Somewhere Dumas is rolling over in his grave, cussing in French.

The newly released trailer is one of the most blatant attempts at a quick cash-grab I've ever seen. The story of The Three Musketeers is butchered beyond recognition. Take a well-known (and much beloved) story, throw in slow-motion fight sequences and ...flying ships, apparently ...and you have an instant blockbuster, Dumas be damned ...

I propose banning all remakes of literary classics unless they have loyal scripts and are directed by (and starring) legitimately talented people. Until then, I'll just have to turn my back and hope that other film lovers will do the same. Out of sight, out of mind. If this makes millions and millions of dollars (which is, sadly, very likely) Hollywood will be laughing all the way to the bank, twirling their moustaches and thinking of the next literary classic they will massacre. And we will have learned nothing.