Arthur the King movie poster

Arthur the King

In theaters March 15, 2024

Rated

30 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , ,

Spring is right around the corner so that means it’s time to flush those tear ducts with a family-friendly, let’s sob into our popcorn type of movie we can only mentally handle maybe twice a year. Arthur The King (2024) is definitely this season’s selection.

Mikael Lindnord (Mark Wahlberg) is an Adventure Race Runner, one of those endurance-driven ultra racers, whose last public showing had his team folding in humiliation before the end of the first day. He believes he has one more chance to show himself, at the very least, that he has what it takes to hike, bike, and kayak over several hundred miles. As he learns to put his faith into his team, a social media hound (Simi Liu), a brilliant strategist with endurance issues (Ali Suliman) and a competitive climber with her father’s mortality on her mind, a fifth member unofficially joins their team. Given the name Arthur for his loyalty, an injured but friendly stray mutt from the streets of the Dominican Republic paces the team showing them all what it really takes to go the distance.

Arthur The King is more than your typical sports movie. Sure, we have the ego-driven central character who needs to learn to delegate to the people he trusts the most, and there are spectacular aerial views of the Adventure Race, which is like a team Ultra Man Marathon over 700km (435 miles). Depicted over several days and difficult terrain, director Simon Cellan Jones brings the action and potential danger up close and personal, so there are no throwaway characters. It’s also a perfect 90 minutes, which means there’s no room for preaching or grandstanding. Nothing slows down a movie about a race like a lot of talking.

The dialog is sparse, which is fine since no one carries on conversations when rapelling across a ravine, so it’s more than pep talks, blisters, and interpersonal conflict. Every character has more than a passing interest in completing the race, and the brief interpersonal stories fill out the drama. Mark Wahlberg finds an even balance with this role allowing Mikael to be both hard-assed, as well as a man desperate to fulfill his personal destiny.

Based on the book, Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Linord, Arthur The King is not afraid to mash that emotional button to prove that winning is more than crossing a finish line.

Arthur The King is the best kind of shaggy dog movie. It isn’t going to require a lot of mental power to enjoy and you can sit in the dark and sob for the last 15 minutes of the film and no one will judge you.

Arthur The King is rated PG-13 for mild swears, very fit people walking through jungles, frights over heights, injured people, injured dogs, deathly ill dogs, and the knowledge you’ll cry no matter how tough you think you are.

Arthur the King is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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