It’s tricky to review Arthur. Are you wondering if it is a good remake or a good movie? Yes the original is a classic and this remake follows the tale of a loveable, mischievous and irresponsible alcoholic who is brought an ultimatum to wed someone he doesn’t love in order to keep\inherit his fortune, it is totally different from the original with different characters and a female Hobson, this Arthur seems like a personal approach. Starring Russell Brand and Helen Mirren, Arthur is a funny and charming retelling or the original and it is not at all what you would expect.
The film starts off rather well and gosh knows that Brand is hilarious, and he doesn’t disappoint. But you get the very real feeling that he is displaying himself. Yes Brand is charming enough to say ANYTHING and get away with it and yes Helen Mirren is sassy and sexy in her own little way (even though the character of Hobson is drastically different) and yes Jennifer Garner is four shades of crazy and two shades of vindictive, but there aren’t any surprises there. You also get the feeling that the film also acts as an autobiographical representation of Brand’s own life, his excesses, his addictions and his eventual sobriety, which comes back to my early point at this being a personal movie for Brand and it is something you can definitely see in his performance when things turn serious.
The only remarkable thing you notice in the movie is how naturally and effortlessly Brand blends in to his surroundings, all the fantastic and over extravagant things that he indulges in don’t seem so shocking, because, well we almost expect it. Helen Mirren is great as Hobson and never once lets you believe otherwise, I could really just watch her all day. The love interest in Greta Gerwig is sweet and likeable, but you really are sifting through the romantic stuff to behold some more crazy Brandesque antics. The emotional centre point and true love displayed in the film is between Arthur and his surrogate mother\nanny Hobson and I think it was done really well.
Arthur is a story about a lonely man, the only thing his mother gave was life, whose “friends” steal from him and use him, he fills the ever-growing hole in himself with excess and addictions until he finds something that will actually make him happy. It is actually a very sad movie, but it’s also a good laugh for Brand fans, and if that is all you are looking for then you will be pleased, if you were hoping for a dead set remake, you may be disappointed but if you never wanted this film to be made at all, just sit back and enjoy the circus.
I give Arthur 3 and a half stars out of 5