I don't jump on the bandwagon of immediately hating on a remake as
there are some great ones out there. I watched the Arthur remake as I
do like Helen Mirren a lot and I personally don't mind Russell Brand.
But I was hesitant too as to me the trailer didn't wow me over, I
didn't laugh once, and by the end of last week I was starting to get
annoyed at Offenbach's Can Can(a fun piece especially to dance and sing
along to but can get on your nerves sometimes depending on the time and
place) being played for the hundredth time.
Arthur wasn't for me quite the abomination that I heard it was, but in all honesty I didn't see much point to it. It is better than the Psycho and Wicker Man remakes both of which almost made me lose the will to live, but for a good remake look towards The Thief of Baghdad, The Magnificent Seven and especially The Thing. If I were to compare this to the 1981 film, the 1981 film is much better being very funny and charming and I actually preferred the much-maligned-but(in my opinion)-better-than-its-reputation sequel over this too.
I will get the good things out of the way. I did like very much how the film looked and the location shooting is very striking and the soundtrack is infectious. But here come the many negatives. While I admire that Arthur tried to stick faithfully to the original film, I think there are times when it tries too hard and it comes off as being too faithful. Except here while there was wit, fun and charm in the original and in its sequel, there is not enough of that here, the severe letdown that is the ending pretty much epitomises this. The script is often unfunny and juvenile, severely lacking in the acidity and drollness that worked so well before, and the gags are really quite weak, predictable and poorly timed.
I don't mind a movie where it has moments of predictability, a lot of movies do, but it does bother me when there are too many moments throughout where it is. That is the case with Arthur, and I can't count the number of times where I was saying to myself "now where have I seen this before". Again, I don't mind when a movie show little or nothing new, but the difference is Arthur in the end didn't make me overlook that because it was lacking in charm.
The direction is rather poor as well, often rushed and smug, and there were times where I felt there should be more time to breathe. And there are some moments where there is little or no humour that are really quite dull. The acting overall fares little better. I have to say though Russell Brand did have very big shoes to fill and he does do an admirable job trying to convey some spontaneous cheeky charm. The problem is not only is his material unfunny and dreadfully weak but his titular character clichéd and unlikeable. Arthur in the original was clichéd in a way but I found as the film progressed you warmed to him, here I grew tired of him.
I cannot deny that Greta Gerwig is talented, but she too is ill-served with her material. She has no snappy lines, no funny joke, no witty gag to write home about, so overall it was the pretty-but-bland acting performance. I'd say the same for Jennifer Garner as well, and also that her frothy acting style didn't entirely work within the tone and style of the film. I was most saddened about Helen Mirren, bless her she tries so hard, but in the John Gielgud role she can't do anything with her lines, she has some decent delivery but there is none of the droll and acidic quality in the one-liners to go the extra mile. Then there are talented actors such as Nick Nolte and Geraldine James who are largely wasted.
All in all, not an abomination but pointless. 2/10 Bethany Cox
Action / Comedy / Romance
Action / Comedy / Romance
Arthur is a rich, alcoholic playboy with no regards to his working life. After another drunken run-in with the law, his aloof mother has had enough and forces him to marry Susan, a proper business woman, or else he will lose his inheritance. Just as he's engaged to Susan, he meets Naomi, a free-spirited girl who Arthur thinks is perfect for him. Any attempts at holding down a job are fruitless, so Arthur has to decide, what is more important: love, or his mother's money.
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May 12, 2012 at 01:15 PM