Seven stars headline THE THE THREE MUSKETEERS: D’ARTAGNAN, the first instalment of the latest big screen dalliance with the Dumas classic.

There’s Francois Civil as Charles D’Artagnan, charming, carefree, insolent but with an inherent innocence.

Vincent Cassel as Athos, the melancholy grey wolf who tries to drown his demons with drink but the demons have learned to swim.

Pio Marmai as Porthos, the bi sexual bon vivant, a thigh is still a thigh, whether it be male or female in his bed, or a chicken if on his plate!

And Roman Duris as Aramis, promiscuous priest, quick to put opponents to the sword or the cross, a petard performance.

The three women who play a crucial role in the narrative are led by Eva Green, as Milady, sexy spy and singular sensation, radiating mystery and intrigue with her powerful screen presence.

As the French Queen, Vicky Krieps continues to consolidate her place in the constellation of great film actors.

And as her lady in waiting confidante, Constance, Lyna Khoudri is serenely splendid.

One must also bow to Louis Garrel’s portrayal of Louis XIII, a just and moral monarch trying so hard to prevent war between the Catholics and the Protestants, an anti crusader suspicious of the manipulations and plotting of his court.

Set nearly 400 years ago, THE THREE MUSKETEERS: D’ARTAGNAN, is certainly a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The proliferation of knives to inflict grievous bodily harm and the terrorism and torture of religious war seem just as prevalent these days as they did in 1627.

Murderous monks, complicit clergy, and a Normandy beach invasion, THE THREE MUSKETEERS: D’DARTAGNAN has it all, with swash and buckle, dash and stouch.

Written by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre De La Patteliere with reverence to the original text but with adroit additions and directed by Martin Bourboulon with dash and panache and sly humour, THE THREE MUSKETEERS: D’ARTAGNAN is a cliff hanger thriller brilliantly setting up a second instalment.

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