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An irritating, unnecessary remake that demonstrates the libertine charm Russell Brand exudes in supporting roles turn against him when he's star of the show.
All Critics (190)
| Top Critics (43)
| Fresh (49)
| Rotten (141)
| DVD (9)
A pitiable remake of the sloshed "classic" from 1981.
The original Arthur was a pretty mirthless affair, but the crude remake starring Russell Brand is infinitely worse...
All that's left for Brand fans is to put on the DVDs of his live shows to remember what a great comic he is.
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.
A thin, insipid and oddly flavourless brew. Drink it responsibly. Better yet, don't drink it at all.
Russell Brand gives a career-killing performance.
This Arthur closely tracks the plot of the original, but it has a heart of its own.
Whereas [Dudley] Moore somehow managed to make his Arthur endearing and lovable, Brand's Arthur is puerile, infantile and hateful.
Although his gear-loose, party guy style fits the role, Brand's stamp on Arthur is good for some mild laughs but not much else.
Though it has fleeting funny moments, this Russell Brand vehicle is a sputtering Pinto that surprises more when it runs well than when it lurches to a stop.
Lacking the charm and humor of the original, this unfunny remake is completely unnecessary.
This feels manufactured, demographically calculated whimsy.
I think that this is just as good, if not better than the original. I'm sure a lot of people will just hate this by default because it's a remake, but anyone who gives it a fair chance will have a hard time finding it anything but fun. I guess you have to enjoy Russell Brand in order to find it as funny as I did, but I think this role was perfect for him. Everything about Arthur and his larger than life personality is so easy to accept when it's so well acted. Nearly every joke he makes is hilarious and the whole concept is something that never seems to get old. I think all of the characters are great and a step up from their originals. Helen Mirren is amazing as Hobson and I honestly don't think anyone could play that character better. I also think Greta Gerwig was perfect too; she just has a quality about her that is totally unique and lovable. While this is a remake in terms of structure and basic plot, it's completely different in terms of the comedy and general atmosphere. Some of the little things like Frog and Toad, Batman Forevermobile, and the Gummi Bear suit are what make it so much more fun to me. As a heartwarming comedy, you can't get better than this. It gives you exactly what you need and there's nothing cheap or corny about it. No one should feel bad about liking Arthur because it's just so good at what it wants to be.
This is one i put off watching for a long time because it seemed like such a steaming pile.
Saw it on free to air TV recently. Certainly wouldn't have paid for it.
So, was it as bad as I expected? Well,yes and no.
The main problem with this is Russell Brand. He is meant to be an alcoholic. He just comes off here as mentally challenged.
The female leads pretty much save this. Greta Gerwig and Helen Mirren. I like Jennifer Garner generally. I have to say, this isn't a great role for her either. She does much better with girl next door roles than bitchy ones.
There's a few smiles here (I wouldn't say laughs exactly), and some of it is sweet. It's certainly not as awful as I expected. I liked the date at the train station, for example and the ending is quite romantic (or could have been if the guy was anyone other than Brand).
Ok. My guilty obsession...Russell Brand. He is just sooo funny to me, and rather charming, in a way. He does a lot of great ad-libbing, as usual. Helen Mirren does a really touching job as his nanny. Good music by Death Cab, great comic timing by all involved, and very sincere performances. Not actually a copy of the original. More of a revamping. I enjoyed this..a lot.
There is a given disadvantage to any remake; specifically, if it's been done before, why do it again?
In the case of Arthur, the remake, you have a well loved tale from 30+ years ago. Perhaps when pitching this film you could argue that a couple of generations have passed since then, and we've got this hot actor who is box office gold... and I suppose that works to a degree. But speaking as one not of the demographic, and having seen the first film and enjoyed Dudley Moore's antics, my repeat viewing of the remake comes from an admittedly skewed lens. That being said, though the tale is creaky around the edges, there is enough witty dialog and bon mots to make this a worthwhile viewing - and it's got Helen Mirren, so that alone should hold your interest.
Russell Brand holds his own as Arthur in my opinion, and Jennifer Garner is sufficiently waspy in her villainous turn as the woman Arthur is condemned to marry. Greta Gerwig, in the Liza Minneli role comes from a different angle - more sweetness than edgy, but her acting here is sincere. The film totally wastes the great comic talent of Luis Guzman, giving him not much to do other than wear a hilarious Robin costume at the film's intro. Speaking of wasting talent - Nick Nolte... what the heck was he doing here, slumming as a threatening buffoon?
But even though I found the last half of the film a bit draggy - too much plot getting in the way of the fun - there were enough funny bits of dialog coming out of Brand's mouth and enough of Helen Mirren being... Helen Mirren, to give this a marginal passing grade - you could do far worse if you're looking for a bit of light humor.
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