Picks and Pans Review: The Return of the Musketeers
USA (Wed., April 3, 9 P.M. ET)
In this senescent sequel to two feature films, our 17th-century swashbucklers (Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed and Frank Finlay) are reunited 20 years beyond their prime by a Franco-English political plot. Also returning from the ’70s historical comedies The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers are director Richard Lester and costars Geraldine Chaplin, Christopher Lee, Jean-Pierre Cassel and Roy Kinnear, the portly British comic who died during the filming.
Lester profitably explored the theme of aging heroes in 1976’s Robin and Marian. He doesn’t do much with the notion in this movie, released theatrically in Europe in 1989. Young bloods C. Thomas Howell and Kim Cattrall get most of the swordplay. And the slapstick and ribaldry of the previous “one for all and all for one” outings have even degenerated into food fights.
Still, Lester’s breathless pacing remains unhampered, giving this film considerably more zest and color than USA’s usual Wednesday night screenings.