THIS umpteenth version of Alexandre Dumas' novel announces itself from the off as a Pirates of the Caribbean style fantasy, much too interested in delivering 21st-Century thrills even though it's set in the early 1600s.
We meet the three musketeers, the king's elite guards, who are introduced to us as spies and assassins, and young D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) who longs to join up with them even though they're all washed up.
King Louis XIII is on the throne of France, but Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) is plotting to start a war with England so that he can take over the running of the country, with only the musketeers able to foil his scheme.
A surfeit of baddies certainly doesn't help to keep matters manageable.
As well as Richelieu, there's Mila Jovovich as M'lady, here turned into a super-assassin, Orlando Bloom's Buckingham and Mads Mikkelsen's Rochefort, each of them given a centre stage turn as the musketeers disappear for long stretches, leaving behind a useless teen angst subplot about the king and his bride.
All this takes place against truly lavish, opulent sets and magnificent computer generated recreations of Paris and beyond. No expense has been spared and every moment on screen looks glorious. But with the niceties out of the way, let's take a look at what doesn't work, which is pretty much the rest of it.
First things first, get some fun, charismatic actors to play your musketeers. Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans are solid enough, but no one's idea of star attractions, while Lerman fluctuates wildly between an American accent and various parts of Europe.
Next, get a director with the first clue about staging action.
It's a movie full of swordfights and explosions and therefore mildly diverting as it goes, but the action scenes are modelled after 300 and Resident Evil, only without the benefit of sane editing.
The numerous fancy booby traps and devices give it a certain pizzazz, no question, but it becomes all about the whizz-bang, with the anachronistic weaponry and gadgetry an attempt to turn it into a shiny confection rather than a period piece.
Dismal dialogue means it starts out silly and only gets sillier still when James Corden rocks up as Planchet. His attempts at comic relief are simply painful.
And though overall this is marginally better than the Peter Hyams swing at the story from a decade ago, The Musketeer, that really isn't saying a great deal.
Running Time: 110 mins
Director: Paul W S Anderson
DOLPHIN TALE (U) Earnest family drama is strictly for animal lovers
A SULLEN young lad helps rescue a beached dolphin and spends the summer caring for it at his local marine centre in this rather stiff and plodding family drama.
The dolphin needs to have its infected tail removed to save its life, so Morgan Freeman's scientist is enlisted to build it a prosthetic tail, while the centre also faces the threat of closure because of lack of funds.
It's all very earnest and well meaning, but much too long and desperately lacking in any dramatic depth or momentum, with plenty to please animal lovers but no interesting humans to speak of.
Running Time: 112 mins
Director: Charles Martin Smith
FOOTLOOSE (12A) Silly idea, but it's good-natured fun
WHEN five high school students are killed in a car accident in a small Georgia town, the town elders blame it on the boogie and ban teenagers from dancing.
It's a bit of a silly concept, even if it follows the original 1984 Kevin Bacon version closely, as new kid Ren arrives from Boston with big city ideas to shake the place up.
The results are unremarkable but not unpleasant, with very little incident to raise the pulse, padded out with races and line dances, with a long time to get to the point of it as Ren challenges the ordnance.
But it's good natured, with a nice cast, and by the end it's really quite infectious.
Running Time: 113 mins
Director: Craig Brewer
POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD (12a) Clever but compromised documentary
SATIRE eats itself in this entertaining if compromised documentary from the creator of Super Size Me.
Morgan Spurlock takes on so-called brand integration, to see if he can make a film about product placement in movies, with the production costs of the movie covered entirely by product placement. As a result his movie pretty much just consists of him trying to find sponsors, including the above-the-title Pom Wonderful and, as such, he only really dips a toe in anything resembling a commentary on the practice.
But Spurlock is an engaging host, so see it for the laughs rather than the insight.
Running Time: 87 mins
Director: Morgan Spurlock
ALBATROSS (15) Uneven comedy drama with witty script and interesting characters
IN a guest house by the sea, student Beth (Felicity Jones) lives with her father, a washed-up writer, and mother, a washed-up actress. But things are shaken up when depressive free spirit Emelia (Jessica Brown Findlay) turns up as their new cleaner.
For once this makes for a British indie that's not too quirky, even though it's often little more than comic episodes, albeit comprised of some nicely constructed scenes, as well as some that are a bit slack and pointless.
It's a not-always successful marriage of farce and dramatic developments, played out by interesting characters, but let down by a screenplay that's by turns smart and witty then given to pat conclusions and over-explained metaphors, and plot points too liberally borrowed from American Beauty.
Running Time: 90 mins
Director: Niall MacCormick
REAL STEEL (12a) Engaging performances make up for daft metal action plot
ROBOT boxing is the most popular sport of the near future, and Hugh Jackman is a former boxer turned robot trainer who owes money all over.
He's something of a deadbeat so isn't exactly thrilled when he learns he's getting custody of the 11 year old son he hasn't seen since he was a baby, but together they train and fight a crummy old robot to try and make some cash.
Rocky meets Transformers in a silly but highly entertaining action drama where you can't see the join between the animatronic and computer generated robots. The fight scenes are often the least interesting part, and for all the metal action it's the human element that keeps this compelling, helped greatly by a pair of sincere performances, and results that are corny but hugely enjoyable.
Running Time: 127 mins
Director: Shawn Levy
FIRST NIGHT (15) Truly dreadful drama even Mozart can't rescue
A GROUP of opera singers are brought together by Richard E Grant's wealthy industrialist to stage a production of Cosi fan Tutte in the grounds of his country estate.
As they plod through their rehearsals, punctuated by the goings on in and out of the bedrooms during the downtime, we're forced to suffer a barely competent am-dram car crash, and the most clumsily directed, misbegotten tosh you're likely to see all year. It's acted out by a bunch of dreadful old hams who can't seem to perform the most basic lines or actions, with not a single moment that rings true and many that would be hilarious if they weren't so painfully embarrassing.
This really is appalling on every level, a desperate pudding that not even Mozart can save.
Running Time: 116 mins
Director: Christopher Menaul