Projections - Movie Reviews

The Man In The Iron Mask

Leonardo DiCaprio, Hollywood's newest golden boy, has chosen this remake based on Alexander Dumas' novel of the musketeers, after his phenomenally successful role in Titanic.

Swashbuckling films usually star dashing, fit young men who are light on their feet and experts with a sword.  The fun here is that, although adept swordsmen, the Musketeers are past their prime, yet eager to have their last hurrah.

Gabriel Byrne plays D'Artagnan, captain of the castle guards, John Malkovich is Aramis, a sensitive father, Gerard Depardieu plays Porthus, a loud oafish man who has never met a drink or pretty girl he didn't like, and Jeremy Irons plays the godly Athos.

Though pledged to protect King Louis XIV of France (DiCaprio), he's become so evil, the musketeers plan to kidnap him and replace him with his twin who has been secretly imprisoned for years.  They hope that the change will be good for their country and its starving people.

DiCaprio plays Louis as a cocky, womanizing cad, but he's much more believable as the good twin.  And for some reason, he makes no attempt to speak with a French accent.  The four Musketeers, on the other hand, have a variety of backgrounds and accents.  Byrne is Irish, Malkovich is American, and Irons is British.  Only DePardieu speaks with his native French accent.  However, it is garbled and at times difficult to understand his muttering.

Byrne stands out among the talented cast.  He's solemn, dedicated and every inch the honorable soldier.  DePardieu provides the laughs, even if it means shedding his uniform to accomplish it.

The story may be familiar, but the wonderful castle settings, with its secret passageways, the royal pomp and circumstance, exciting action and terrific cast gives this classic tale an entertaining new look.

It is rated PG-13 for sexual content and nudity.

The Man In The Iron Mask


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