Film, Comedy
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Thirty years on from Dudley Moore, another British comedian stars as a sozzled super-wealthy man-child being forced by his tycoon family to choose between money and love. Russell Brand’s obviously there for his naughty-boy charm, but the casting backfires because he’s not equipped for the part. Dudley Moore always suggested a sweet soul beneath the drink-fuelled bravado, yet with Brand the showy petulance masks – what? – a deeper layer of showy petulance? Since Brand doesn’t make us care whether Arthur finds love (and his big emotional moments expose the comedian’s acting limitations), the movie’s essentially a goner, no matter that it finds inventive new ways to show off his billionaire spending power, including a floating magnetic bed, his own Batmobile and dinner for two in rented-out Grand Central station.

That said, the female roles, the weakest element in the original, get a makeover, with Jennifer Garner effective as the grasping nouvelle riche earmarked for Brand’s dynastic marriage, and mumblecore sweetheart Greta Gerwig stealing the show as the illegal tour guide who’s the kooky-yet-endearing object of the hero’s affections. Gerwig is more relaxed than anyone, not least Helen Mirren, who can’t work out whether her nanny role is bitchy or serious, probably because the writing has de-clawed the John Gielgud character and ripped the heart from the story. The passage of time has brought us a blander, more responsible ‘Arthur’ with far fewer laughs and, be warned, a painful update on the classic Burt Bacharach title tune over the end credits.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday April 22 2011
Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jason Winer
Cast: Russell Brand
Luis Guzman
Nick Nolte
Greta Gerwig
Jennifer Garner
Helen Mirren

Average User Rating

1.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
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  • 3 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
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Don't waste your time watching this awful unfunny show. You lose brain cells just watching it.

Sophisticated humour this is not. Then again, Russell Brand thought his "obscene" prank phone calls (with Jonathan Ross) to Andrew Sachs hilarious back in 2008. The BBC and others thought otherwise. Brand hasn't worked for the BBC since. Bear in mind that incident is an excellent indicator as to the “humour� you’ll encounter during Arthur. I went to see Arthur out of curiosity – was this film going to be as bad as critics made out? The answer - “yes�. I left after 40 mins.

Just about worth watching on dvd instead of cash in the attic. Night out? Hell no! note, turned on phone at start of end credits thinking "2 hours surely" but no, 102 min. also noted a fair few happy punters on the way out. Each to their own!

As lame as the trailers. Brand doesn't lend the film anything a better actor couldn't - and he clearly struggles - even with material this bad. That said, the script and predictable storyline make you wonder whether the entire film was dreamt up/scripted/filmed/edited in a half day. Why does Helen Mirren keep playing these 'wasp-ish'/unhumourous types? One star.

Taxi for Brand. Surely Russell is at 14 minutes 30 seconds of his 15 minutes of fame. A poor lame story where Brand's once individual style of humour now just grates. Spoilt brat meets kooky girl. Poor she may be but within 15 minutes you can't help beleieve she wouldn't want to hit him. All in all just a bit embarassing. I went to see it thinking the reviews can't be that bad.If anything they flatter the film.