In 1974 Richard Lester boosted his then-flagging career with The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers, lavish swashbucklers with a comic touch. His attempt at a comeback is, sadly, a stillborn event which looks as tired as its re-assembled cast.
It’s 20 years since the four musketeers ordered the execution of the evil Milady De Winter. But now King Charles is dead, and his son Louis, a 10-year-old, reigns with his mother (a reprise by Geraldine Chaplin).
D’Artagnan (Michael York) is assigned to bring together his three former comrades to fight for the Queen and Cardinal. He quickly recruits Porthos (Frank Finlay) and Athos (Oliver Reed), together with the latter’s son, Raoul (C. Thomas Howell); however, Aramis (Richard Chamberlain), now a womanizing Abbe, is reluctant to join the band.
There follows a complicated and sometimes hard to follow plot [from Alexandre Dumas’ Twenty Years After] involving a failed attempt to rescue King Charles I of England from execution. According to this, the executioner of the king was actually Justine (Kim Cattrall), evil daughter of Milady, who’s intent on avenging herself on the four musketeers who she blames for the death of her mother.
Pic is dedicated to Roy Kinnear, whose accidental death during production must have cast a pall over the entire project.