Mike D'Angelo
September 10, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

At first glance, it looks suspiciously like a straight-to-video sequel to last year’s The Man in the Iron Mask, but in fact, Miramax has dug up this tongue-in-cheek adventure by French auteur Bertrand Tavernier, originally and more appropriately titled D’Artagnan’s Daughter. A pre-Braveheart Marceau plays a sheltered but hot-blooded young woman who’s hell-bent on avenging the murder of her convent’s mother superior. To do so, natch, she’ll need the help of her famous, aging pop and his equally decrepit partners. Tavernier seems to aim for sly parody, but he hasn’t a prankster’s sensibility; apart from some clever shenanigans involving an attempt to ”decode” a mediocre love poem mistaken for a secret message, the film is too doggedly earnest to amuse.

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