Friday, November 18, 2011

Review - Arthur (2011)

“Could you detach the half-naked business woman from under my bed?”

Director: Jason Winer
Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner
Writer: Peter Baynham

When this movie first came out I wasn’t that interested in this movie. You see it all has to do with Russell Brand. His comedic persona is grating to some people, and honestly I’m not sure why he’s as popular as he is. But I’ve come to learn that even if I’m not a fan of the actor I should give a movie a chance, as I may be surprised. So here’s that chance, let’s see if I was surprised.

Well first off let’s deal with the actors in this film. Helen Mirren was dependable as you would imagine. In the role of Arthur’s nanny she was both stern and yet you could see the affection she had for Arthur. She definitely added some class to the role of Hobson (Hobson is my last name so you can imagine my delight). Jennifer Garner as the evil Susan Johnson plays it pretty much one note, other than a scene where she is drunk. To be fair she isn’t given that much to do. Geraldine James is cute as Vivienne the love interest of Arthur, however she too isn’t given much to do, as is more a goal for Arthur to change his ways. And now we make our way to the main star, the whole reason why this movie was made, Russell Brand. Straight off the bat if you don’t like Brand’s humour, you won’t like this movie. I’ve never really got his appeal but haven’t hated him, so it wasn’t too bad for me. He does bring a certain lovability to this role which is necessary as in this current age who would feel sorry for billionaire. However this story does take a turn into serious town in the third act and it is at this point that I didn’t buy the change in Arthur. Russell is so content playing Arthur as a fool, that it seems impossible that there is a real human beneath it all.

Now one of the complaints people had was how this was a shallow shade of a shell of a movie when compared to the original. I’m not going to get into the argument over the remake, as while I’ve watched it, it’s been a while and honestly I can’t remember too much about it. Instead what I will say is the very idea of a lovable billionaire is one that just doesn’t fly in this age. I can’t understand why they would want to remake this movie, as the very core of the idea hamstrings the movie from the beginning gate. People are supposed to feel bad for Arthur? Other than this core concern the story is a pretty standard romantic comedy affair. Things take a dark turn in the third and it just doesn’t seem right. It was good to see the idea of Alcoholism tackled in the movie, but I don’t think there was enough time really devoted to it to make it worth our time.

 Honestly this is a standard comedy and if you like Brand you’ll probably enjoy this movie. There is nothing to really write home about, and the story is very basic, with comedy winning out over any worth while topics. Also for those people who love the original, just skip the movie and forget about it. Having this movie out there in the cosmos isn’t going to ruin the original in anyway. If you want to see this movie, grab some friends and watch with some pizza.


  1. It's one of those forgettable but OK movies. However, when on a flight from the US to the UK, and you have to choose between this movie and The Zookeeper... TAKE THIS MOVIE. Take it twice if you have to.

  2. I've heard that The Zookeeper is a movie to avoid. But you know what? An evil part of my brain wants to watch it just to see how bad it is.