Film Review: “Arthur the King”


  • Starring:  Mark Wahlberg, Nathalie Emmanuel and Simu Liu
  • Directed by:  Simon Cillan Jones
  • Rated: PG 13
  • Running time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Lionsgate



Did you know that there is an annual race in the Dominican Republic called the Adventure Racing World Championship?  Neither did I.  And I can tell you, as someone who used to enjoy running 5K races…I want to part of it.  Five days.  Over 400 miles on land and water.  Yikes.


Mikael (Wahlberg) used to enjoy Adventure Racing.  At least until his last race ended with he and his team stuck in a dry river bed because Michael led them in the wrong direction.  Now Mikael lives with his wife and daughter in Colorado and, while he no longer competes, he trains hard because the desire is still inside him.  He decides to put a team together for one last adventure.  An adventure that continues to influence his life today.


A story of faith, both in yourself and others, “Arthur the Kind” is an inspirational story of endurance, both physical and mental, and what it takes to succeed at both.  Mikael’s team is a mashup of personalities:  a former teammate with a bad knee, the up and coming daughter of a famous rock climber and a racer who spends more time on social media then he does in the gym.  At one of the rest areas they are approached by a stray dog.  Mikael gives it a meatball and the team heads back out, traversing dense jungles at night.  Miraculously, after trekking another hundred miles they are surprised to learn the dog has followed them.  Mikael gives the dog the name Arthur, as in King Arthur.  Now a quintet, the team forges on towards the finish line.

I have never been more exhausted at the end of a movie.  Director Jones puts his camera smack dab in the middle of the action and you feel the aches and pain caused by every step…every stretch….every stroke of an oar.  Like the race itself, the film keeps a fast pace and never slows down.


If there is a message here, it is don’t judge a book by its cover, whether the book is a man or a stray dog.  The script, by Michael Brandt and Mikael Lindnord, is based on a true event.  Lindnord – on whose story the film is based –  is honest, and strays away from the usual inspirational tropes similar films have.  Whatever their goals are, Mikael and Arthur will only achieve them on their terms.


With the Easter holidays approaching, “Arthur the King” is truly a film for the whole family.

On a scale of zero to five I give “Arthur the King” ★★★★

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