Lee Majors Week: Musketeers Forever (1998)

An English-French-Russian co-production action flick shot in Montreal, Canada, but set in Las Vegas? And starring Lee Majors and Micheal Dudikoff? And pinching from the Alexandre Dumas classic? Did Cannon Pictures make this?

Nope.

A company known as Betar Entertainment made it. But don’t worry, they made 1988’s The Ultimate Weapon with Hulk Hogan, so it’s all good.

Well, not really. We are in the direct-to-video low-budget lands where there’d be no original bones buried in this Las Vegas desert of the Great White Sands. Yep, Hoss! We be got ‘er selves a Road House rip-off where Dumas is rolling over in his grave.

Ben O’Connor (Lee Majors) is a retired ex-CIA and Special Forces bad-ass who comes into a little cash via a high-stakes poker game. So he decides it’s time to retire and open up his dream jazz club in Las Vegas, with two of his ex-army buddies as his partners. And since that fourth Musketeer from the good ‘ol army days died during a mission (protecting the Russian president), they’ll employ his son (Michael Dudikoff) as their chief bartender. Romance, but of course, ensues between Dudikoff’s D’Artagnan (seriously, that’s his character’s first name) and Malila (Sabrine Karsenti, who you may remember from Battlefield Earth and The Crow TV series), the local Indian Reservation damsel-in-distress.

And the action ensues when Brad Wesley Kenton Crawford (if you’re a Dolph Lundgren completist, you know actor Martin Neufeld from his work in The Peacekeeper) and his sidekick Irina (Sylvie Varakine, who reminds of Brigitte Nielsen; know your Rocky IV references), a pair of bad-ass Russian gangsters who “own the town” of Indian Creek (no joke) and the cops (see?), decides to plow down the reservation to build a casino — and level the newly-minted club in the process — it’s time for lots of barroom brawling. Hell, yeah. It’s not a time to “be nice” anymore, baby! Hey, at least, unlike Road House, we have a timely message about the death of progress and how the white man screws the Indians.

Granted, Majors, as well as Dudikoff, are clearly past their action-primes in this rare, hard-to-find rip on Dudikoff’s Cannon halcyon days of action yore, but the duo carry the film’s French-Canadian unknown-to-U.S. cast with class. Chalk it up to my enjoyment off all things Dudikoff and my Majors nostalgia, but I liked this one in all of its low-budgeted action glory. But man, we sure do wish Sam Elliot would roll up just to deliver that line . . . and ride off into the sunset, because there’s no way to twist the name “The Musketeer Club” into a joke about a feminine hygiene product. (Douchesketeer? No, that’s not working for me, either. That’s something a dicky, frat-preppy college jock would say as he pants a nerd. Wade Garrette would never say that.)

Musketeers Forever is scattered around the globe in a hard-to-find VHS tape and bogus grey-ripped DVD issued in multiple-region formats (dubbed in French — with and without subtitles), so know your zones. But guess what? Tubi TV comes through with a pretty clean English-language, free-with-ads upload to enjoy. So get your Dudikoff on this weekend and relive those good ol’ Cannon VHS days of yore.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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