Let me preface this with my thoughts on Russell Brand. I love this man quite a bit. Not everybody likes him and I can understand that. He can be annoying at times. However having been aware of him through his radio show, I feel like I’ve grown to love him. He was brilliant on the radio. Actually his best stuff was on the radio. He has a special brand (pun intended) of comedy and to some extent it takes some getting used to.
So to the recentish remake of Arthur. I’ve seena n own the original. Dudley Moore was fantastic. I have not seen the original in some time however and I’ve avoided seeing it before finally getting around to watching the new remake. I wanted to see without the original fresh in my mind. Part of that has to do with the fact that I like Russell. I wanted this to be a good movie, the original be damned. As horrible an idea it is to remake the original, I hoped that the remake could be a decent film on its own.
It is. I’m not ashamed to admit that I laughed loudly quite often throughout the film. Again I like Brand and he was actually pretty good here. His performance here reminded me of the work he did in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which was great.
The remake is exactly that, a remake. It’s not a duplicate of the original. They didn’t take the old script and just do it word by word. They changed it and made it their own film. Russell Brand can not pull of Dudley Moore’s character Arthur. The two versions are completely different and both played to each actors strengths. Neither could successfully play the other and that is a good thing because it made them separate films.
I already mentioned how much I enjoyed Brand. I also loved Greta Gerwig. I thought she did a fantastic job. Helen Mirren was also really good, but I felt disappointed by her character. I had hoped that they would have done more with her, but it seemed like her material was cut out of the script somewhere.
This movie is actually funny. I mean the Batman stunt at the beginning was a lovely opening all by itself. It’s also quite touching at times. You have to go into the movie with an open mind though. If you watch it already hating it than no wonder you aren’t going to enjoy yourself. No it does not rival the original, but how could something that iconic be overthrown by a remake? Even if it was a brilliant film (which it isn’t) it would be hard for anyone to allow it to gain that status.
~Stay tuned for my thoughts on the original and it’s sequel (yes the made a sequel)
~Edit: Watched the original. The new Brand version does borrow a basic plot outline and there are some similar scenes and even reused dialog, but it’s not overwhelming and the new version keeps it fresh.