Arthur, a Russell Brand-powered remake of the film about a drunken billionaire man-child, fails miserably at recapturing its predecessor’s magic:
- It’s a “grim load of mediocrity,” writes AO Scott, “made according to a lazy and cynical commercial blueprint” of Brand's “patented shtick,” “contrived, semi-naughty comic set pieces,” and sentimentality, he notes in the New York Times. “Never have I needed a drink so badly.”
- Betsy Sharkey agrees in the Los Angeles Times. “Where to begin with what went wrong when just about everything did?” she asks. It “made me want to cry, just not for Arthur.”
- “This Arthur is missing a soul,” notes Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. “A genuine melancholy ran through the story the first time,” but “that grounding sadness has been replaced by a chintzy sentimentalism as clunky as its comedy."
- “The comedy is now crude instead of whimsical and its characters overblown caricatures instead of screwball personalities," writes Kirk Honeycutt in the Hollywood Reporter. “A movie has been reduced to a sketch.”