All for one and one for all! That’s the rallying cry of the Musketeers—guards of the French King—and the call to adventure for young readers enjoying their first taste of Dumas’ classic swashbuckler. Aramis, Athos, Porthos, and the not-quite-yet Musketeer D’Artagnan use their wits and their swords to battle an evil Cardinal, the traitorous Milady, and other enemies of the French court.
Richard Lester's demythologization of the popular subject is still incredible for its many ironic details (e.g. the crash with the dummy near the end). I love the intentionally heavy-handed and somewhat clumsy fighting scenes more than the high quality choreographies from other film adaptations. And Michael York gives - especially in the beginning - a wonderful performance as clumsy fellow.
Cuts out any interesting subplot from the novel. The time that could be used to inject a modicum of mystery into Lady de Winter, for instance, is instead devoted to excruciatingly long sword-fighting scenes. And then we're left with Michael York's awkward voice and Raquel Welch's terrible Jayne Mansfield impression.
Highly entertaining. Lester has very little concern for plot but the energy he conjures up that's a hybrid of choreographed action and madcap comedy is a kind I wish was more prevalent. Oliver Reed gives a lesson in revealing characters through action, while he's not much a sword fighter, seeing him in action tells you all you need to know. The film has an almost Altman-esque quality in its depiction of royalty.