The Three Musketeers (2011)

What do you get when you take a solid B-level cast of experienced character actors and give them a script sourced from the seminal adventure-genre novel and add a dash of steampunk, a rollicking soundtrack and imaginative staging of derring-do stunts and unabashed swashbuckling? You get A+ entertainment. After a summer of real hit-and-miss adventure blockbusters, this movie made no apologies for being exactly what it is and I enjoyed every minute.

The story is so pleasing that it has been filmed many times from almost the first days of motion pictures. IMDB records the earliest as 1903, though there is reference to just a fencing scene from The Three Musketeers dated 1898. It's been told in versions for Japanese and Russian cinema, and adapted to Mickey, Donald and Goofy, and even for Barbie. The novel by Alexander Dumas was first released as a newspaper serial entertainment in 1844. The tale of a country boy come to Paris to follow in his father's footsteps as a heroic musketeer isn't a classic; it is what defined "classic" when it comes to adventure.