RING OF THE MUSKETEERS is an adolescent action picture whose cast is teen-free, perhaps because all the adults behave like children.
The Ring of Musketeers--Peter Porthos (Thomas Gottschalk), John Smith D'Artagnan (David Hasselhoff), and Anne-Marie Athos (Alison Doody)--solve modern crimes with a combination of new-fangled technology and old-fashioned skill. They're summoned by their boss, antique dealer Maurice Treville
(John Rhys-Davies), to locate a kidnapped child whose Uncle Ross (Scott Jaeck) is an air traffic controller. Racketeer Vince Pellito (Andy Romano) is so determined to stop his accountant, Gary Murdock (Tony Maggio), from testifying against him that he's ordered Ross to crash the plane carrying the
star snitch. The Musketeers create a diversion outside the kidnappers' hideout and rescue the child, but have less success safely marshalling Murdock to the grand jury. While Pellito pleads with his Godfather (Michael V. Gazzo) to cut him in on an upcoming jewelry heist, Anne-Marie receives a
visit from her ex-husband, Harry (Corbin Bernsen), who begs the Musketeers for protection. With their unwitting help, rogue cop Harry kills Murdock and escapes.
The Musketeers are joined by former burglar Burt Aramis (Cheech Marin), whose underworld connections come in handy. The four of them distract Pellito's chauffeur and exchange an empty valise for the carrying case of diamonds in his trunk; the switch costs Pellito his life. When renegade Harry
tries to reclaim Anne-Marie, the heroes rescue her by motorcycle, while Harry's escape vehicle sails off an embankment and crashes. Having proved his mettle, former housebreaker Burt Aramis is inducted officially as the fourth musketeer.
Star David Hasselhoff, who already has two successful juvenile TV shows ("Knight Rider" and "Baywatch") to his credit, isn't looking to broaden his horizons here. RING OF THE MUSKETEERS is "Charlie's Angels" recast with swordsmen, and the movie even moves episodically: each new adventure
dovetails with its predecessor with the depressing rhythm of a TV cop show. Within the bland limits of family entertainment, RING OF THE MUSKETEERS' goofy comic relief, tire-screeching car chases and swashbuckling rescue gambits give it reasonable energy. Kids may be entertained, but adults--even
those who applaud the movie's wholesomeness--are likely to be frustrated by the plot loopholes and silly tone. (Profanity, violence.)
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