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April 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Russell Brand is no Dudley Moore, just a dud. That’s the general consensus of critics reviewing Brand’s performance in the remake of the 1981 film Arthur, which starred Moore. “Brand is unable to charm,” Kyle Smith writes in the New York Post. “Without coming near a ukulele, he manages to be as odious as his doppelganger, the ’60s novelty singer Tiny Tim.” Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News judges Brand’s performance to be “one click above moronic.” But A.O. Scott in the New York Times is reluctant to single out Brand for the apparent failure of the movie. He is rather, according to Scott, “more like the beast of burden, charged with hauling this grim load of mediocrity to the box office.” Calling the remake “utterly redundant,” Michael O’Sullivan writes in the Washington Post, “This Arthur is an exercise in time-travel tedium, a trip to the Land That Funny Forgot.” But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times argues that the film doesn’t deserve such harsh treatment. “This Arthur,” he writes, “is not as laugh-out-loud funny as the earlier one … but the dialogue is well-written — witty and quick and not clunky. … And Russell Brand takes on a thankless task and earns at least some thanks.”