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Return Of The Musketeers

A hit elsewhere in 1994 under the title D'Artagnan's Daughter, Return Of The Musketeers, a handsome swashbuckling adventure directed by Bertrand Tavernier (Round Midnight, Capitaine Conan) is just now receiving a low-profile release on video. That's a bit puzzling, but it's also indicative of the increasingly narrow parameters required for foreign-language films to receive theatrical release. It doesn't feature a crusty middle-aged playboy redeemed by a small child, or the Holocaust, or Jackie Chan, but it's hard to imagine a more approachable film than Return Of The Musketeers. A sequel to The Three Musketeers never imagined by Dumas, Return stars Sophie Marceau as D'Artagnan's daughter, who, in the mid-17th century, takes up her father's adventurous ambitions when the convent she calls home falls victim to villainy. After finding her father (Philippe Noiret), she sets about assembling the remaining Musketeers, who, though out of shape and out of practice, soon fall back on their old ways in the name of truth, justice, and the Gallic way. A colorful, high-spirited film, Return makes a nice companion piece with Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1974) and The Four Musketeers (1975), pairing old-fashioned adventure with a knowing wit and, in this case, sentiments of sexual equality mixed with generous portions of heaving cleavage. It's froth, to be sure, but Tavernier's assured direction and a game performance from Marceau make it worth a look.

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