The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Take the hottest actor in the known universe, add the Academy Award-Winning writer of Braveheart, throw in four class actors, three of whom have at least been nominated for an Academy Award in their careers, film in an incredibly lavish palace, have a bunch of swordfights and some naked skin. What do you get?

A really horrible movie.

The Man in the Iron Mask is just that. Horrible. I mean really, really bad. We're talking "Carrot Top Bad" here. It makes Pauly Shore movies look like class entertainment.

What makes it really bad, is that they tried. They really, really tried. Four of the five main actors have been nominated for Academy Awards. They put out all the stops to give this period piece a period feel. They wanted it to be so good.

They failed.

Here's the story. There's this French King, see? And he's a bad King. And he has a twin brother who is locked away in a dungeon, wearing a big iron mask. Three of the Four Musketeers decide to free the brother and switch him with the King. Hilarity ensues.

First off, I have always wondered why the story of Athos, D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos is called the Three Musketeers. Can't anyone count? There are four of them! Four!!! Stupid French people, getting their damn math wrong all the time.

To be fair, Irons, Depardieu and Byrne all give fine performances. Malkovich also does a decent job, but he doesn't really fit.

And then there's Leo.

He should have stayed down on the sunken Titanic. A lot of people were outraged when he wasn't nominated for Best Actor for Titanic. I think I've discovered why he was left off the list: The voters saw this film. Did anyone else realize that the King of France was from California? Listening to DiCaprio try to get his mouth around this period dialogue is like listening to Roseanne sing an aria.

And to make matters worse, he plays TWO ROLES!!!!!

They may have figured that the more Leo they could get in the film, the better. But I say, twice nothing is still nothing.

Also, the nameless chick who plays his main love interest is even worse than he is. But she's darned cute and removes her clothes a number of times, so she's excused.

Some actors just shouldn't try accents. They may be incredible actors, but they need to learn their limitations. Eventually, if they have any intelligence, they learn this. Keanu Reeves should stick to surfer dudes. Kevin Costner should stick to post-apocalyptical epics. Leo should stick to sinking ships. Everyone wins. Except Costner of course, I mean did you SEE The Postman?

Neither did anyone else.

Getting back to the apocalyptical horror at hand, The Man in the Iron Mask teaches us an important lesson. It says, just because you wrote a great film (Braveheart) doesn't means you should get to direct. Poor Randall Wallace, in a perfect world, he'd get to lick his wounds from this film by making a sequel to his big hit. But it's gonna be hard to get Mel Gibson to come back for Braveheart 2, what with him being dead and all.

All told, The Man in the Iron Mask gets 1 1/5 Babylons, and this scant reward is due completely to the abundance of plump breasts and the opportunity to hear Gerard Depardieu say the word "nipple" a number of times. I was actually going to give the film 1 2/5 Babs, but Gerard gets naked, and that'll dock points off of any movie.

Editor's Note:

I just want to make sure you all realize what a horrible experience it was to see Gerard Depardieu naked. Honestly, we're talking life-threatening. Not since Harvey Keitel disrobed for The Piano has the American audience been subjected to such cruelty.

The Man in the Iron Mask
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Randall Wallace
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and whichever Hollywood Mogul managed to get all these big name actors into such a horrible movie.

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