Review: The Four Musketeers (1974)

(Note: this capsule review is part of my farewell to the Netflix DVD service. #GetThroughMyQueue)

A perfect film to kick things off because I had just watched The Three Musketeers (1973) and couldn’t see the sequel on a streaming service without paying more pistoles to somebody. 

Why, if I hadn’t had Netflix DVDs, I would have been forced to challenge someone to a duel. Netflix saved my honor is what I’m saying. (Or possibly saved me from getting killed. I last fought using a foil many years ago).

In any case, this is the sort of film that makes you want to pick up a sword and join the fray. If it’s not as much of an out and out romp as the first film, it does pay off quite decently with quality villainy from Faye Dunaway, the always excellent Christopher Lee, and Charlton Heston clearly enjoying himself as Cardinal Richelieu. 

Michael York, remains an energetic center of the proceedings and his portrayal of D’Artagnan, while as indelibly British as Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard, is infectiously fun. The interplay between him, Frank Finlay as Porthos, Oliver Reed as Athos, and Richard Chamberlain as Aramis is why you’re here. 

What am I going to give it? It’s tough because in some ways I like the musketeers coming together in the first film, but there’s some more payoff and quality scheming in this one.

I think I’ll give it three and a half stars out of five. If you’re in the mood for a swashbuckler that’s certainly not so old school as classic Hollywood, but far from the MTV generation, you’ll be pleased. However, you will absolutely want it as part of a double feature with the first film.

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