Review of the film “Arthur, You Are King” by Simon Cellan Jones

Review of the film "Arthur, You Are King" by Simon Cellan Jones


Simon Cellan Jones’ film “Arthur, You’re King” is being released – what is called a “good movie for the whole family”, in which a typical sports drama is combined with an equally typical story about rescuing a stray dog. Alas, neither one nor the other could melt my heart Yulia Shagelman.

“Arthur” is based on a true story, more precisely, on a book that Swedish extreme athlete Mikael Lindnord wrote about how, during an adventure race in Ecuador in 2014, he met a stray dog, became his best friend and took him to his homeland. In the film, Swede Mikael turned into American Michael – played by Mark Wahlberg, who for some time now has been trying to choose only positive roles, in accordance with the values ​​that are important to him as a convinced Catholic and father of four children. The fateful race on screen moved from Ecuador to the Dominican Republic. And completely behind the scenes there was a scandal that happened when the dog Lindnord saved had an owner whose opinion no one even asked before “rescuing” his dog. Perhaps, such a storyline would indeed not look very appropriate in an exceptionally uplifting film.

However, you can’t do without conflict in a movie, so Michael even has shortcomings at the beginning: stubbornness and selfishness, which prevent him from listening to the opinions of his teammates during the next race. Because of this, they get stuck in the mud, and our hero’s sports career ends ingloriously without a single victory. He is trying to adapt to normal life without extreme sports in Colorado, where he has a house with a swimming pool, a loving wife (Juliet Rylance), a charming daughter (Sisi Valentina) and a job as a realtor in an agency owned by his father-in-law. But Michael is not satisfied with all this, since he feels truly satisfied only during racing. Or, as he himself formulates his life credo: “runners run.” The fact that his wife left her career as a professional runner and “works as a mother” does not seem to bother either the hero or the authors.

Michael decides to participate in one more, decisive race, spending all his wife’s savings on preparation for which, since potential sponsors do not want to get involved with such a loser. He recruits a team from walking cliches: racing veteran Chick (Ali Suliman) has an injured knee, for which, like a Chekhov’s gun, its time will come; Arrogant influencer Leo (Sim Liu), of course, has to realize that the number of likes and subscribers is not the main thing in life; and for the climber Olivia (Nathalie Emmanuel), the scriptwriters couldn’t come up with a better motivation than the desire to please her father, who was also a former extreme sportsman, dying of cancer.

This whole group goes to the Dominican Republic and there runs, rides bicycles, makes its way through the jungle, climbs rocks, crosses gorges on a steel rope and generally has a great time, trying to convince itself and the viewer that it is engaged in overcoming and strengthening characters. These activities are interspersed with chopped dialogues, as if written by artificial intelligence (Michael and Leo compare their egos, Olivia suddenly announces her father’s diagnosis, only to then completely forget about it), as well as footage of a stray dog ​​living a truly dog’s life on the streets of Santo Domingo . A parallel montage hints at the similarities between him and Michael, only the first is forced to survive by the will of a villainous fate, and the second does this by his own choice, and even with other people’s money.

Somewhere in the second third of the picture, the paths of the racers and the dog finally cross. Michael treats his new acquaintance to a meatball, names him Arthur (in honor of the King of the Britons), and, in theory, a deep emotional connection is established between them. True, the four-legged actor simply cannot pull it off alone; Wahlberg, with his one facial expression for everything about everything, does not help him in any way, and the tear-squeezing scenes in the finale, instead of touching, rather cause irritation with their shameless manipulativeness. A dog, of course, is man’s best friend, but even the cutest furry can’t save this film.


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