Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 03/15/2024
Production Company: Lionsgate Films

Mark Wahlberg, Simu Liu, Juliet Rylance,
Nathalie Emmanuel, Ali Suliman, Bear Grylls, and Paul Guilfoyle.

Director: Simon Cellan Jones. Producers: Mark Wahlberg, Mark Canton, Andre Coutu, Stephen Levinson, Patty Long, Luis Ignacio Rodrigues, Courtney Solomon, Tessa Tooley and Tucker Tooley. Executive Producers: Michael Brandt, Dorothy Canton and Mikael Lindnord. Screenwriters: Michael Brandt and Mikael Lindnord. Cinematographer: Jacques Jouffret.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The new adventure film "Arthur the King" from director Simon Cellan Jones ("The Family Plan") and screenwriter Michael Brandt (TV's "Chicago Med/Fire/PD") is meant to tug at the old heartstrings and succeeds at most every turn. The movie is an inspirational true story based on Mikael Lindnord's 2016 book "Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home."

"Arthur the King" is a remarkable story about a dog who, against all odds, becomes so much more than man's best friend. I'll be surprised if you don't get a bit choked up over this one.

The movie centers around Michael Light (a terrific Mark Wahlberg, "The Family Plan"), an elite, professional adventure racer. He's retired from the sport which consists of running, biking, climbing, and kayaking hundreds of miles in the most grueling and challenging locations throughout the world. Michael didn't go out on top like he wanted to. Now, he's trying to adjust to the real world at home with his gorgeous wife Helena (Juliet Rylance, TV's "Perry Mason") also a former racer, and helping out his father Charlie (Paul Guilfoyle, TV's "Julia") who is a successful real estate agent. Michael knows his heart isn't in this job. His dad knows it too.

What Michael really wants is a second chance at competing because he lets his ego get in the way the first time around.

He made bad decisions which cost his team a chance to win the competition. While his wife of course has moved on from the incident, other members like Chik (Ali Suliman, "The Swimmers") who suffers from a bum knee now and social media sensation Liam (Simu Liu, "Barbie") can only imagine what could have been if Michael had listened to them.

Realizing that her husband won't be himself if he doesn't go for the challenge again, Helena insists that Michael give it another shot. This time won't be easy. He has to convince corporate sponsors to take another chance on him. They reluctantly do. Michael pulls together his team that includes a fiercely competitive mountain climber named Olivia (an excellent Nathalie Emmanuel, "F9: The Last Saga") who has her own personal reasons for joining the guys.

As they start their grueling 435-mile endurance race through the Dominican Republic, they find an unlikely source of inspiration and guidance. It's a dirty, wounded old dog that takes a liking to Michael and his meatballs.

This isn't an ordinary hound. He's managed to keep up with the crew despite being sick. At one point he even saves them from walking over a cliff. From that moment on, all of them have a special interest in caring for Arthur the King.

When Arthur the King is on screen, the race is still important, but you're really rooting for Arthur to survive and cross the finish line right along with them. There are some hurdles that Michael and the team encounter that places Arthur in jeopardy of being left behind. Michael isn't about to let that happen. Although his team is clearly ahead of the others and they could easily finish in first place, Michael and his squad take a stand on behalf of Arthur the King. It still makes them winners and their actions capture the hearts of viewers and dog lovers everywhere.

Dogs are certainly having their day and enjoying their closeups in the movies lately. Messi, the border collie from "Anatomy of a Fall" became an overnight sensation. The dog that plays Arthur, in real life, his name is Ukai and I'll tell you the audience I saw the movie with applauded wildly for him when he was nursed back to life.

"Arthur the King" is a rousing sports drama and a dog lovers delight.

Check Out This Trailer For "ARTHUR THE KING"

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 1975
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Director: Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson and Jack Wormser
Director of Photography: David Watkin
Screenwriter: John Byrum and Toni Amber
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to?
Do you know?
Do you get what you're hoping for? When you look behind you, there's no open doors. What are you hoping for? Do you know? "Theme from Mahogany...
The "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" was sung by Diana Ross in the 1975 movie "Mahogany." But, who initially recorded the song in 1973?
"Roberta Flack"
"Natalie Cole"
"Deniece Williams"
"Thelma Houston"