Saturday, 30 April 2011

Film Review: Arthur

Rating: 4/10 - Bad

Arthur is a weak comedy featuring a comedian who is becoming too comfortable with his hackneyed jokes. British Russell Brand, who recently married American Katy Perry, has decided to enter the US entertainment world with films like Arthur and Get Him To The Greek. Get Him To The Greek was quite funny. Arthur is stale.

Director: Jason Winer. Screenplay: Peter Baynham. Story: Steve Gordon. Producers: Larry Brezner, Kevin McCormick, Chris Bender and Michael Tadross. Cinematography: Uta Briesewitz. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures. Starring:Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner. Running Time: 110 Minutes. Age Restriction: 10 (ML)

This movie is a remake of a Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli film released in 1981. I have not seen that version before but I assume it was better than this boring take from Mr Brand.

Brand plays playboy rascal Arthur Bach, who will inherit $950m if he marries heiress, Susan Johnson, played by the boring Jennifer Garner. Arthur's mother, Vivienne (Geraldine James) thinks Susan will make something out of him.

What follows is a film about a rich guy considering what is important in life. It's predictable.

When it comes to movies about rich guys and how they relate to the world, I much prefer Mr Deeds. Released in 2002, Mr Deeds, a remake of a Frank Capra film, starred Adam Sandler as an idiot-type who inherits oodles of cash. It was one of Sandler's warmer performances even if it was Sandler doing his usual, idiot who the audience just cannot not feel for. It also featured the brilliant character actor, John Turturro.

But, Sandler plays bumbling fool well. Brand does not come across as a fool. He is not supposed to be but he is just so pretentious. Maybe his character is supposed to be pretentious in this fim? Yet, for much of his stand-up and acting career now, he has been pretentious. I feel that his stand-up and acting careers should have more differences between them. He should at least be able to play different characters as a comedic actor. Maybe a person who has not seen Brand in any guise before will enjoy Arthur.

Nevertheless, he needs to make more of an effort or whoever directs him in his next film needs to make more of an effort. He used to be highly rated as a shock comedian in the UK but he is not shocking anyone in the US.

Alistair Anderson

Arthur is showing now at cinemas throughout SA.

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