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ENTERTAINMENT: D'Artagnan's back with sharp new edge; Mail Movies THE MUSKETEER (PG).

Byline: JOHN MILLAR

What's it about, in a nutshell?

One for all and all for one. Yes, it's another version of the classic Alexandre Dumas 17th century adventure, The Three Musketeers. After the murder of his parents, D'Artagnan heads for Paris to join the king's musketeers and get revenge. Our young hero gets caught up in political intrigue, treachery and romance as he clashes with the conniving Cardinal Richelieu and his army of enforcers, led by cold-blooded Febre.

Who's in it?

Quite a mix of European actors and some from the other side of the pond. It includes Tim Roth, Stephen Rea, Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvari of American Pie fame, Nick Moran from Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, and newcomer Justin Chambers as D'Artagnan. Bill Treacher - Arthur Fowler in EastEnders - is a lecherous landlord with his eyes on Mena Suvari.

OK, so what's new about this version?

The main difference is the action. The makers of The Musketeer - originally called D'Artagnan till maybe someone thought Americans wouldn't be able to pronounce it - claim that the film's fight sequences are some of the most breathtaking and imaginative since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Director Peter Hyams says he got the idea to incorporate that sort of gravity-defying action after watching the Millennium celebration in Sydney on TV. "I saw these extraordinary acrobats performing this amazing wire work as they scaled the Sydney Opera House. Right then and there I decided I wanted to incorporate that kind of action in the story," he says.

The action must have been demanding for the actors?

Justin Chambers says he had no idea the fight sequences would be so tough. "I trained for a month doing fencing, horseback riding and the high-wire technique," he says.

What about the actresses?

They adored the outfits. "The costumes were beautiful to wear," says Mena Suvari. "Even the shoes were made of silk - when you put them on you felt you belonged to that time."

Where was it filmed?

At castles in France and Luxembourg, so it should at least look the part.

A quote for the poster?

D'Artagnan's a cut above the rest?
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Title Annotation:Mail Movies
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 16, 2002
Words:355
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