Arthur The King Movie Review: An Uplifting Journey With Man's Best Friend

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Director Simon Cellan Jones (The Family Plan) does an excellent job with the pacing of Arthur The King, even though it is only 100 minutes long.

Arthur The King Movie Review: An Uplifting Journey With Man's Best Friend
Purchase   Physical Media

The Adventure of a Lifetime

In the world of extreme sports, there is snowboarding, skateboarding, and even frisbee. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that there are competitions each year that would probably qualify as some sort of extreme racing event known as adventure racing. Adventure (or expedition) racing is usually a multidisciplinary team sport that incorporates various disciplines including mountain biking, trekking, and paddling, and requires racers to navigate an unmarked wilderness course. These events can vary in length, be very dangerous, and are held all over the world. In 2014 the Adventure Racing World Series (AWRS) was held in Ecuador, where Mikael Lindnord and his team made headlines for befriending a stray dog. Their story has been fictionalized in the new film Arthur The King.

Team Dynamics and the Heart of Adventure

Michael Light (Mark Wahlberg; Ted) was an adventure racer who led a four-person team through rough terrain all over the world. After a disastrous race where the team found themselves stuck in the mud due to Michael's poor decision-making, Michael stopped racing and went to work for his dad's real estate firm. However, with his wife's encouragement, he assembles a team and heads to the Dominican Republic for one last World Series race. Partway through the race, Michael feeds a stray dog some meatballs and the dog begins following Michael's team. Along the over 400 miles and numerous days of the race, the dog, which they named Arthur, helped them navigate the jungle becoming their unofficial mascot.

A Cast That Brings the Story to Life

Wahlberg plays a similar role we have seen from him on several occasions before. He is the down-and-out underdog (no pun intended) who refuses to give up even when the odds are stacked against him. He is joined by Sims Liu (Barbie), Nathalie Emmanuel (Furious 7), and Ali Suliman (200 Meters), and together they create a cohesive team that is believable and relatable. The remaining cast is decent, if unremarkable. Of course, the real star of the film is the dog(s) used to create the personality of Arthur.

Visually Stunning with Familiar Beats

Director Simon Cellan Jones (The Family Plan) does an excellent job with the pacing of the movie, even though it is only 100 minutes long. He manages to build enough tension several times throughout the film that one often finds themselves holding their breath, anticipating the worst possible outcome at every turn. He also offers some magnificent vistas of a tropical paradise. The lush greens of the jungle make for a velvety backdrop that surrounds the team throughout the movie. The wide angles used during the zip line scene help to demonstrate the seriousness of the team's predicament.

Clichés and Pep Talks

Screenwriter Michael Brandt (Wanted) falls on clichés to add to the sentimentality of Arthur The King with rivals peppering their taunting with familiar tropes and tried and true needling. He also creates "pep talks" spoken by Wahlberg as team captain Light that could have been stated in a locker room during halftime of any sports-themed film. He does manage to get one or two zingers in occasionally but only manages to make the film serviceable. One can only wonder what the real story is behind this novelization but the film itself is an uplifting, feel-good movie that has viewers leaving the theater with a big grin on their faces.

Final Thoughts

Arthur The King isn't reinventing the wheel and won't win any major film awards but the dog(s) is adorable, the ambiance is breathtaking, and the movie is a pep rally for those who need reminding that it isn't about how far one falls, but how they get back up after they fall.

Grade: C+

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 107 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

Watch on Apple TV

For more information about Arthur The King visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Arthur The King images are courtesy of Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


Today's Digital HD DealsView All

Tooth Fairy
Tooth Fairy
WAS: $14.99
NOW: $4.99
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
WAS: $17.99
NOW: $4.99
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
WAS: $14.99
NOW: $7.99

Latest ReviewsView All

Movie / Film Review
Jul 17, 2024 EST
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare
Physical Media: 4K UHD Review
Jun 25, 2024 EST
Monkey Man
Physical Media: 4K UHD Review
Jun 22, 2024 EST