Arthur the King – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Arthur the King – The Adventurer and the Dog: A Feel-Good Journey

In life, we travel along paths filled with obscurities and obstacles.  Within each twist and turn, we stagger along this journey with hopes and dreams.  As scars mount with each step forward, we continue with slight bits of inspiration that provides a means to an end.  Within the medium of film, feel-good stories are a dime a dozen, but they always find a way to pull at your heartstrings.  In this review, I look at the latest feel-good film.  Based on real events, we head along a familiar path full of heart.  Even within its predictable format, Arthur the King is a wonderous tale of perseverance with man’s best friend.

Michael (Mark Wahlberg) is an adventurer whose life has been filled with everlasting failure.  With an unlikely canine companion, he puts everything on the line for one final attempt at winning the race.  When it comes to feel-good stories, there are certain elements that are staples within the genre.  One of those elements is the journey of a flawed main character(s) with an alluring aspect of ‘reaching the ultimate goal’.  In this film, that main character is Michael, an adventurer who has not succeeded at winning any world adventure championship he has participated in.  The story begins with one of his failed races, putting a spotlight on his characterized flaws.  From this prologue, we move into the present where we find Michael training in hopes of getting one last shot at winning the race.  Through a series of conversational moments and predictable scenes, Michael puts together a team, which includes his former partner Leo (Simu Liu), to participate in the world championship race in the Dominican Republic.  The generalities are obvious, but the ongoing human aspect to ‘fight the fight’ helps provide a subtle layer of emotional value.  This emotive value is furthered with the introduction of the stray canine subplot, paralleling Michael’s struggles.  Once the team heads to the DR and begins the race, we move through a linear directive that builds along the feel-good motif.  The journey is filled with fun character banter and tense moments, helping to build up humanistic overture within the familiar format.  As Michael and the crew head towards the finish line, the stray canine subplot converges.  After a series of hearty moments with the canine, he joins the team as the fifth member with the newly minted name of Arthur.  With this new companion, it jolts the predictability with additional emotional reverie, leading to a journey that becomes more than its obvious message.

As the crew heads off to finish the race, we head through a series of moments that help build up a wholesome relationship between Michael and Arthur.  The canine companion motif leads to more endearing situations, lifting the comradery within the team.  With moments heightening and pressure building, the race begins to evolve into something more for everyone.  With newfound inspiration (and Arthur by their side) we head into a third act of heartfelt moments of meaningful circumstance.  This leads into a full circle climax, and a hearty epilogue.  Arthur the King tackles the familiar feel-good format with a touch of heart.  If you are a fan of feel-good stories, dog, or inspirational films, this is one for you.  I believe this can be a fun time for the family at the theaters.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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