Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner
Sporting the tagline ‘meet the world’s only lovable billionaire’, the success of this Arthur remake was always going to depend on how likeable Russell Brand could be in the lead role.
Predictably enough, the man who’s the comedic equivalent of Marmite delivers a performance that will delight his fans but annoy the hell out of everyone else. Following in the footsteps of Dudley Moore, Brand stars as Arthur, a wealthy, alcoholic man-child who fills his days by driving around in the Batmobile and banging loose woman on a bed made of magnets.
Fed up with his behaviour, his mother gives him an ultimatum – marry social climber Susan (Garner) or he’ll be cut off from his supply of money. Assisted by loyal nanny Hobson (Mirren), Arthur has to choose between his lavish lifestyle and his love for quirky poor girl Naomi (Greta Gerwig).
For the first hour or so, Arthur is enjoyable enough as Brand essentially does one of his comedy shows, delivering witty lines with expert timing. Mirren lends fine support (the Dame in a Darth Vader mask is a highlight) while Garner is memorable as the ice-queen.
Unfortunately, the tweaks to the original storyline don’t really work and Arthur eventually becomes tedious and annoying.
Good for: Russell Brand groupies.
Watch the Arthur trailer here.
– Pierre de Villiers