Review: ‘Arthur’ starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner

Blurgh. Rent the Original.

Arthur is the story of a charming and happy drunk who has zero aspirations beyond finding his next drink. The fact that he’s the heir to a huge fortune and freely spends his money in search of a good time, makes him more lovable. When his father arranges for him to marry Susan, a woman he doesn’t love, he must choose between losing his inheritance or being his own man.

Nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Arthur, Dudley Moore makes a lovable drunk with seemingly no social value, into someone we root for. We want him to marry for love and not money, we want him to come out on top, we want him to succeed. He’s created a character that will be remembered forever.

Wait… you thought I was talking about the remake of Arthur? The one starring Russell Brand?

Oh…… No. Why would I do that?

That movie stinks.

I understand remakes – especially if the movie sucked the first time – but why on earth did they remake a classic film that got 4 Academy Award Nominations (including giving John Gielgud his only Oscar as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Hopson) and is remembered fondly by anyone who’s seen it?

The film is a mess.

The cast tries hard to capture the magic of the original but they don’t even come close.  Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner and Greta Gerwig all seem like they’re going through the motions. You don’t care at all what is happening on the screen or to their characters. The only thing you care about is when the credits will roll. 

The film has whole scenes that are copied from the original. Whole scenes are lifted almost word for word! What’s the point in that? Why not just take the original script and re-film that, a la Gus Van Sant’s Psycho?

There were moment in the movie that did make me chuckle but those were few and far between.

If you want to see Arthur, do yourself a favor and watch the original. It’s streaming now on Netflix.

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