The Three Musketeers - Part II: Milady

Swashbuckling adventure continues

Jiří Stacho

12/25/20233 min read

In my review of the first part, D’Artagnan, I mentioned that I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

Let’s cut to the chase here, is Milady as good as D’artagnan? The answer is no. D’artagnan is a more focused and coherent movie, while Milady tries to encompass a bit too much and isn’t narratively as tight. But that is not to say that it’s a bad movie. It’s an overall entertaining adventure movie with solid performances from charismatic actors with some fantastic and memorable scenes.

Eva Green as Milady shines in this movie as she gets much more screentime than previously, but she still managed to maintain some of her mysteriousness. Vincent Cassell as Arthos is by far the most charismatic musketeer, and I wish he had even more screentime as he was the most intriguing part of the movie. Aramis and Porthos continue to be just a comic relief. Their side story with Aramis’ sitster getting pregnant and Porthos falling for her is just there to provide some breathing room from all the convoluted politics and constant changing of locations. It’s completely disconnected from the main story. My biggest gripe with the movie is that the four musketeers are barely in a scene together. For the majority of the movie, it’s D’artagnan on his own searching for Constance. Later, he is joined by Arthos when it’s clear Milady has something to do with it. And Aramis and Porthos have their little side story and no relevance to the real plot. It’s truly a shame that the camaraderie between the musketeers feels as an afterthought.

D'Artagnan himself goes to great length to find Constance, and his little adventures with Milady were some of the more interesting scenes in the movie. The scene in which Constance dies and D’Artagnan mourning is well done. Where the film lost me was the final battle between infuriated D’Artagnan and Milady. It makes no sense that a musketeer like D’Artagnan struggles in a fight against a thin, middle aged woman who moreover was already tired and bruised from previous fights. For this scene, you truly have to turn off your brain completely to not find it irritating and embarrassing. Up to that point, the filmmakers showed us that Milady is so successful because of her wit, cunning, and seductiveness. But a one-on-one sword fight against a musketeer in his prime is just stupid.

The movie is shot in some of the most breath taking locations, and the costumes are on point. What deserves to be point out, especially with the recent Napoleon movie, is that the Three musketeers do not use the ever-so-popular grey color filters, and therefore the movie is colorful and beautiful. The movie jumps from location to location a bit too much and comes across a bit chaotic at times. The plot gets a bit convoluting with many revelations. The tone is more serious this time around, with only Porthos providing some comic relief. Cardinal Richelieu’s presence is not as prominent here, with Milady taking the spotlight. The action scenes are well executed and clearly done with care. One scene to highlight is the musketeers sneaking into the citadel, which was so much fun. I wish there were many more scenes like this.

The two musketeer films were shot back to back, so it’s surprising that instead of a proper ending with all (or at least most) loose ends tied up, we are presented with another cliffhanger ending similar to the first movie. In the first one, Constance is kidnapped, and in this one, it’s Arthos’ son. This ending suggests that the filmmakers intend to make a trilogy, and I’m certainly on board with that. However, it’s a gamble, as these movies are quite expensive, and box office success is by no means guaranteed. While I can’t say I enjoyed this as much as the first installment, I’m still glad I went to see it and had a good time in the cinema.