A major Hollywood feature film, released on September 6th, 2001, by MCA/Universal Pictures. Directed by Peter Hyams. Starring Justin Chambers as "The Musketeer" (D'Artagnan), Tim Roth as "The Guy In The Black Armor" (Febre), and Mena Suvari in her signature role as "The Really REALLY Hot Chick" (Constance).
The movie is yet another retelling of Alexander Dumas' classic novel, The Three Musketeers. Basically, if you can imagine a kung fu movie set in 17th Century France, you've already got the general idea. The overall plot is relatively coherent, though a vastly... *ahem*… "streamlined" version of the original Dumas' storyline. Make no mistake, this movie could easily have been named "Hong Kong Action Theater for White Guys". Like Morgon77 said, the setting is mostly a backdrop for the swashbuckling action scenes. Not that it doesn't still make for a fun movie to watch, just don't expect to hear Chambers say the words "I'd like to thank the Academy…" any time soon.
That said, here's a quick run-down of the stuff you're probably interested in (i.e. the various big fight scenes):
- an acrobatic all-takers brawl between D'Artagnan and the various denizens of a dimly-lit tavern.
- a night-time jail break with D'Artagnan enlisting the help of Athos and Porthos to fight their way through a dozen well-armed guardsmen.
- a covert melee in the kitchen of a palace, with all four of the musketeers pitching in to protect the royals from an angry mob. In obligatory Kung Fu fashion, D'Artagnan loses his sword at the very beginning of the battle, and has to fight off the mob with makeshift weaponry; candlesticks, pots of hot oil, whole roasted chickens, and etc. (IMO, this is by far the best scene in the movie.)
- an extended chase scene with The Musketeer defending a stage coach from mercenaries, using fists, swords, whips, and, yes, even a musket.
- a brief duel with our hero beating down several more mercenaries with a log (this one seems like it could have been part of a longer fight sequence. Look for it on the inevitable Special Edition DVD.)
- an army of reunited musketeers storming a fortified castle.
- a mass sword-fight in the courtyard of said castle.
- a sword-fight with D'Artagnan and guards hanging from ropes halfway up the castle's tower.
- the movie's climactic final duel, in an obscenely ladder-filled storeroom. (Way overblown, IMO, and suspiciously similar to one of the last scenes in Once Upon A Time In China. Kind of a disappointment, really.)