Russell Brand has finally arrived as a leading man in Hollywood this week. He stars in Arthur, and as the voice of the liddle wabbit in Hop.
Unfortunately, Arthur has had some of the worst reviews for a movie so far this year.
Arthur's opening was very poor. It has gone in at 48 of the worst 50 openings for a wide theatrical release since 1982, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com [link].
Brand plays Arthur Bach, alongside Helen Mirren who plays Hobson, in the remake of the Dudley Moore and John Gielgud hit of 1981. The original Arthur was lauded with a number of Oscar nominations [Academy Awards for 1982], an award for best supporting actor to Gielgud, best screenplay nomination for Steve Gordon and best leading actor nomination to Dudley Moore.
A remake of a film with such high credentials is just asking for it, coupled with comparisons between harmless puppy-like Dudley Moore, with self assured sexual pole vaulter Russell Brand.
3/10 seems to be the average rating, but there are some good reviews in the mixed bag.
The worst say the movie is clunky, fluffy, Brand is irritating, abysmal, and 'kicks you straight in the emotion goolies' (and that was actually a compliment from the News of the World).
One reviewer said "There are far more laughs in the two-minute trailer than there are in the 110 minute movie. [...] the lines that seem funny in the trailer fall flat in the movie... 1/10" (Tony Medley, Tolucan Times.)
The official trailer:
The funniest, snarkiest, comment I have seen is this from the pages of rotten tomatoes:
"Brand makes Dudley Moore's performance look like pure genius - and it wasn't." Jackie K. Cooper, jackiekcooper.com
But I read his review and I couldn't find that peach of a quote in it so maybe he wrote that just for rottentomatoes. Shame.
"Russell Brand gives a career-killing performance." David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"Fans of the original can sneer all they want, but this is about as good as we could have hoped for." Will Harris, Bullz-Eye.com
"Arthur may not be much of a movie but Russell Brand is one heck of an Arthur." Tom Long, Detroit News
Rottentomatoes gives Arthur 26% and falling. Official movie site.