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An average movie

Posted : 1 year, 10 months ago on 24 July 2017 08:38

I already saw this movie but since it was a while back and since I had it on DVD, I thought I might as well check it out again. Well, even though my wife always had a weak spot for this movie, I always had a hard time to care about  the damned thing. I have to admit it, it was still a decent watch and probably the most ambitious adaptation I have seen dealing with the musketeers but I'm afraid it was actually victim of its own ambition. I mean, sure, there was an impressive cast involved  (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godrèche, Peter Sarsgaard, Hugh Laurie) but it was so over-crowded that there was barely any room to develop any of these characters. The funny thing was that, even though they all delivered some decent performances, DiCaprio, easily one of the best actors around nowadays, was probably the weakest of them all. Indeed, even though it took some balls to play such a rather despicable character just after becoming overnight a huge star thanks to 'Titanic', he was never convincing here and I always had the feeling that I was watching a young American pretending to be a very mean king. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it is watchable and I guess it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 

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The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) review

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 2 April 2013 02:45

Good, very good this new version of "the man in the iron mask", for me the best ever made​​. I guess a lot of blame for this lies with the star cast that is, the direction. A film that is more entertaining, the director manages slope having the viewer of the display continuously, no fluctuations throughout, achieving a total antención. More remarkable direction. As for the performances to say. Even the names of the protagonists themselves enough. John Malkovich, Depardiu Gerar, Jeremy Irons, are big stars who have already proved everything on film and here again show part of his great talent with impeccable performances only. The star, Leonardo DiCaprio, what about him. It's a movie star and his youth. Ised two roles in this film, which is very difficult considering that the two characters are twins, but makes the viewer realize at all times of who is who and why is not easy. The final film is very good, is a new adaptation of the famous book very well performed by all. A greeting.

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Dazzling period movie.

Posted : 11 years, 1 month ago on 12 May 2008 07:15

"You have the heart of a king."

After the atrocious watered-down Disney version of The Three Musketeers I felt that Hollywood had made one too many films concerning Alexander Dumas' classic story. However, The Man in the Iron Mask is writer/director Randall Wallace's take on the source material. And at least this wasn't a dilute PG-rated Disney film aimed at the children. While watching this film my fears were soon alleviated.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the dual roles of heartless King Louis, and his brother Philippe. Louis is the king of France who ascended to the throne after the death of his father. Louis' brother Philippe could not also take the throne of France and was instead thrown into prison with his face hidden behind an iron mask (therein lies the title). The city of Paris is starving; its king is spending more time debauching young women and filtering money into unnecessary wars. King Louis is a heartless ruler who cares for no-one but himself. His arrogance causes a stir amongst his royal guard. Determined to save the country from starvation, the film then follows the now aging illustrious musketeers; Aramis (Irons), Athos (Malkovich), Porthos (Depardieu) and D'Artagnan (Byrne). Due to his loyalties towards the king, D'Artagnan abandons the three other musketeers as they conceive a clever plan to replace King Louis. To do this they must break Louis' brother Philippe out of prison, remove Philippe's iron mask and train him to take the place of his heartless sibling.

The plot of The Man in the Iron Mask isn't as conventional or as clichéd as it could have been. It is a refreshing story that was relieving to see after the horribly childish Disney film (both were based on different stories, but Disney's film was just far too by-the-numbers and thin). Instead of Disney, 20th Century Fox stepped in to release this one. Although the film isn't as violent as it could have been, the themes are a lot heavier and the triumphant moments aren't as cheesy.

I found it interesting that the musketeers have now aged quite severely and have passed their prime. This just shows their versatility as soldiers after many years of fighting.

Unlike many adaptations of Dumas' story, this film is concerned with the larger-than-life sword fights the four men undertook and their swashbuckling exploits instead of tracing their roots. Several films have looked at how the men came to be, thus it would have been far too tedious to show the back-story of the foursome yet again. In a sense it's a great companion piece for Disney's The Three Musketeers. That film is cheesy beyond belief but it at least tells the story behind the forming of the musketeers reasonably skilfully. The Disney film also shows how to make a mediocre film out of a great story. The Man in the Iron Mask shows how to make a remarkable movie out of terrific source material.

Leonardo DiCaprio hadn't made a big name for himself yet. Some of his only credits included What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Basketball Diaries and Romeo + Juliet among several others. For the most part he was the romantic pretty boy lacking any emotional depth. DiCaprio's acting is acceptable but not great. He was the pretty boy a lot of the time; however I occasionally really liked his style of acting. At least his romantic lines aren't cringe-worthy. Although nothing groundbreaking, credit must go to DiCaprio for a solid effort in playing dual roles. I have no complaints about the four that play the renowned musketeers. These men are certainly a smart choice to play such characters. They have the dry wit and chemistry: something that cannot be said for Disney's production.

The Man in the Iron Mask boasts some elegant production (and costume) design as well as lavish sets and dazzling locations. Every shot looks like a genuine photograph from the film's historic period. My only complaint: gross over-length and a few too many clichés. Aside from that, I enjoyed this exceptional movie that is unforgettable and extravagant.

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Posted : 11 years, 8 months ago on 13 October 2007 11:22

A fantastic tale that is enjoyable for all. Yet another movie which has given me more reason to love Leonardo DiCaprio. Being one of my favorite actors he made this movie appeal more to me, but also Jeremy Irons and Gabriel Byrne were fantastic cast choices.
If you haven't seen this yet, you really should. With an all star cast and brilliant story, this movie is truly unforgettable.

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