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The Man In the Iron Mask (1998)



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Another of many screen incarnations of Dumas' last Musketeer novel, this 1998 version of The Man In the Iron Mask has perhaps the single best cast of any Musketeer movie, yet somehow still falls short. The three Musketeers are played by Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, and John Malkovich. D'Artagnan is played by Gabriel Byrne, and Leonardo DiCaprio plays the dual role of King Louis and Philippe.

Irons and Depardieu turn in solid performances, the latter being this movie's comic relief. Malkovich, on the other hand, turns in a rare dry performance -- he doesn't seem to know what to do with the uninspired dialogue and slogs through the role woodenly. DiCaprio is miscast and for the most part unaffecting. Byrne, however, is fantastic and steals all his scenes. He's the only member of the cast who fully immerses himself in his role and makes it his own -- not an easy task, given that he's playing a character that's been filmed so many times before.

But the script, as I say, is too ordinary and uninsightful to sustain the long running time. I enjoyed the movie -- don't get me wrong -- but I'm not overly anxious to see it again.

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