''Arthur is not the arrogant idiot that we expect, but a self aware, intelligent and witty maestro of mayhem who has everything and nothing at the same time...''
Arthur was quite honestly an unexpectedly funny film that, if you don't compare it too much to the original, you will most likely thoroughly enjoy it. I'd gone to see Arthur expecting cheesy lines and a poor plot, and Russell Brand struggling to hold a film on his own. In fact I was fully expecting a Russell Brand love fest of self indulgent f@&k ups and painful jokes, however this was not the case at all. To my surprise Brand held the film together remarkably well playing the fun loving, responsibility shy, billionaire Arthur, heir to a fortune, who will do anything for a good time, doesn't believe in boredom or work and throws money around like it's burning a hole in his underground vault.
Practically a stranger to his Mother who he calls simply Vivienne, Arthur has been raised by the Mother Teresa of all nannies, Hobson, played by a wonderful Helen Mirren whose patience knows no bounds and whose job is to cater to Arthur's every whim like a child, except unlike a child she has to wake up the various girls strewn about Arthur's penthouse in the morning and stop them from stealing priceless artefact's.
However the story of Arthur is actually sweet and heartwarming and Brand plays this larger than life, kind hearted but lost soul with all the poignancy of someone who has genuinely battled similar demons. Arthur is not the arrogant idiot that we expect, but a self aware, intelligent and witty maestro of mayhem who has everything and nothing at the same time. Arthur is a story about a man who learns that you can't put a price on real happiness and love.
Brand is genuinely brilliant, his deadpan and sarcastic sense of humour had most of the cinema laughing out loud and yet his childlike innocence contrasts perfectly with his vulgarity making him a very lovable character.
Helen Mirren is brilliant as the firm but fair Hobson who puts up with so much and yet still wants so much more from Arthur, she's like Mary Poppins would be after 30 years of looking after a naughty chimp with an American express card. Greta Gerwig is a newcomer to our screens and is like a younger, blonde Zooey Deschanel but without the edge, and although her acting is slightly wooden at times, I felt genuinely charmed by her, as does Arthur. Jennifer Garner is also great as the pinched, poised employee to Arthur's mum, whose plot to marry and control Arthur is well acted and is a great contrast to Naomi.
Although at times you get the feeling that Brand is making things up as he goes along, and is once again playing Russell Brand, the overall effect is still funny, touching and definitely one to watch.