The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

Directed by: Randall Wallace

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich

Huh. I just realized that there were a lot of high-profile 17th-century period movies in the 90’s, weren’t there? That’s… really weird. When did we go through a Three Musketeers/swordfighting phase? It’s because of that Highlander TV show, isn’t it? Damn you, Highlander!

This is a sequel to The Three Musketeers (and don’t ask me anything about whether or how it ties in to the books, because I read them when I was 7, and I remember absolutely nothing about them now), where the musketeers are all old and sad, and King Louis (DiCaprio) is a big dumb jerkface that they want to get rid of. Luckily, it turns out the king had an identical twin that he’s kept in prison for the last several years (in an iron mask, of course, so nobody knows they look the same), so the musketeers break him out and make the switch, so they have a GOOD king instead of a SHITTY one.

This is a dumb action movie, but it’s made way worse by both DiCaprio (who, as you may recall, still couldn’t act at the time) and by John Malkovich (who can NEVER act). Really, it’s mostly Malkovich, and he’s just… he’s so bad. His characters never talk, they just deliver lines in the same monotone (when he’s angry it’s a loud monotone, though!), his eyes never opening all the way unless he has to yell at someone. And he has such a huge part in this movie. Not even Jeremy Irons can salvage that.

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