A remake of the much loved 1981 original starring Dudley Moore, Arthur is Russell Brand’s third big screen outing. Slated in the US press upon its original release the film failed to take America by storm. Perhaps we Brits will be kinder to one of our own?
Well slightly. Nonetheless, Arthur still offers very little in the way of surprises and never really raises anything more than a smile or chuckle. Russell once again demonstrates what he does best, playing the hard-drinking, roguish playboy with a heart of gold. Unsurprisingly he manages to hold the film together and the production will certainly be well received by his devoted fans.
However the real understated highlight of the film is Helen Mirren who plays his loyal but frustrated nanny Hobson (played by Sir John Gielgud in the original). She delivers many of the films more touching moments with ease and demonstrates her natural ability at dry wit on several occasions. Indeed the mother/son relationship between the two is a believable one.
Similarly Greta Gerwig is a likeable, sweet screen presence against Jennifer Garner who has fun as the mad, unstable potential wife for Arthur. However Nick Nolte is, rather surprisingly, less effective and somewhat pointless as Garner’s psychotic father.
Whilst Arthur does offer moments of charm it cannot rise above anything more than mere fluff.