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Arthur the King Blu-ray Review: Great Bonus Features Aid True Story

The Arthur the King Blu-ray is now available following the film’s theatrical release earlier this year. Based on the remarkable true story of adventure racer Mikael Lindnord, the film is an inspirational drama about the bond between man and dog and what really matters in life. Starring Mark Wahlberg, the gripping dog movie directed by Simon Cellan Jones combines some great sports action with drama that will melt the heart of any animal lover.

“In Arthur the King, an unbreakable bond is forged between pro adventure racer Michael Light and a scrappy street dog companion dubbed Arthur over the course of a grueling 10-day, 435-mile racecourse,” says the official description. “Based on true events, [the movie] follows Light, desperate for one last chance to win, as he convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. Pushing the team to the outer limits of endurance and sacrifice, Arthur redefines what victory, loyalty, and friendship truly mean.”

Admittedly, I am a dog owner and clearly the intended audience for Arthur the King, as I was captivated from start to finish. The film has really strong performances by not only Wahlberg and the supporting cast (including the wonderful Nathalie Emmanuel, Simu Liu, and Ali Suliman) but also its canine thespian named Ukai. The dog and the crew did a wonderful job of imbuing the movie with a ton of heart, making the dog appear as a stray struggling with infections and then going on an incredible journey with the adventure racers that it follows. Through swamps, tall grass, and everything in between, Ukai does a great job in some tough filming scenarios, and you can tell that there’s a real bond between the animal and Wahlberg that goes beyond the screen.

While the drama of getting Arthur home is ultimately at the heart of the film, the actual adventure racing provides plenty of thrills. This is a physically intensive film as the actors had to climb, hike, bike, zipline, and kayak in its many racing scenes. A few action set pieces really stand out, serving as strong high points with some really striking shots of the Dominican Republic where the film was shot.

One of the coolest parts of the Arthur the King Blu-ray is that it includes not one, not two, but three commentary tracks. Considering it is becoming an increasing rarity for commentary tracks to be included on home releases, it is great to see such care and for there to be multiple ones. The most interesting is the one between the director, Simon Cellan Jones, and the real-life inspiration, Mikael Lindnord, as they trade some great stories about the production and the true story that it’s based on. The other two tracks are also a fun listen, with some interesting perspectives from two pairs of producers: Tucker and Tessa Tooley, plus Mark and Dorothy Canton.

There are also over 25 minutes of bonus featurettes included, plus a dog rescue PSA and its trailer. The first featurette, “Finding Arthur,” is a lovely nine-minute video about Ukai and the dog’s performance, showcasing just how talented the animal is. Additionally, “A Love Letter to Arthur” is a five-minute video about Lindnord and the true story, while “A Dog’s Journey” is an 11-minute making-of feature with some great behind-the-scenes footage.

Arthur the King Blu-ray Review: Final Verdict

With plenty of bonus content and three commentary tracks, the Arthur the King Blu-ray is an easy recommendation for those who love dogs or sports dramas. The actual movie is based on a wonderful true story and manages to both thrill viewers and tug on the strings of their hearts in the process, making it worthy of multiple revisits.

Disclaimer: ComingSoon received the product from the distributor for our Arthur the King Blu-ray review.