Ben & Arthur (2002) Review

PI Justin calls Victor on his cell phone at night from an undisclosed rooftop, asking if it’s “Victor Sailes” like he’s never talked to the guy before and isn’t sure it’s the number that Victor gave him just two days earlier.

Victor has to remind him that it’s him, and that he knows him as the guy he hired.

After we clear that up, Justin tells him he’s “got the information” he wanted.

Cut to Victor walking down the sidewalk as he looks at his watch (it’s 7:59pm, apparently), and follows Ben and Arthur’s lawyer into a parking garage. An amped-up techno beat plays as Victor doesn’t look suspicious at all while standing by the gate.

man looking suspicious in bushes

As the lawyer backs into a space, the music intensifies and Victor does the unpredictable, in a truly shocking scene. I thought I was having an asthma attack after gasping so hard.

man shooting woman in car

Now that the lawyer is dead, it looks like the villainous Victor might have his way, even though the lawyer had already made it clear that Ben and Arthur are fine. Her death doesn’t really mean shit, does it?

Oh well, whatever.

Back at his apartment, Arthur calls Victor to meet up again, and winds up bringing Ben to Victor’s apartment for dinner, where another random man sits with them at the table listing off his kids in photos we don’t see.

random man at dinner table in Ben & Arthur

“That’s a nice family you have,” Victor says.

Yeah, nice family, whoever the fuck you are (Victor’s not-so-secret gay lover?).

The man asks when Arthur plans to have kids, and Victor brings up the idea of him having a wife someday and starting a family, even though Arthur’s bf is sitting at the same fucking table.

“Victor, I’m gay,” Arthur insists. “I already told you that.”

Yeah, Victor and Random Guest, you two just have a good laugh at that.

men laughing at dinner table

Hold on, is that a graham cracker that Arthur is having for dinner?

Arthur holding graham cracker in Ben & Arthur

Even if it’s dessert, it looks like Victor is on a tight budget after paying that PI for nothing.

Even worse if it’s actually cardboard.

Anyway, Arthur and Ben get up to leave after that show of disrespect, when Victor sits them back down.

Victor refers to Ben as Arthur’s friend, and Arthur reminds him that he’s his husband, to which Victor responds to Ben, “Look at you. What are you, a gay man?”

Um, yes, I do believe he is.

Victor then directly calls Arthur “fucked up,” which activates Mraovich Rage, graham cracker clutching and all.

Arthur angry in Ben & Arthur

“You fuck,” he utters.

After he tells Victor that he wouldn’t be a good uncle since he can’t even be a good bro, Arthur leaves with Ben in contempt.

Once again returning to Arthur’s place, Arthur apologizes to Ben and says he’ll be able to get the money he needs another way.

Cue the best gay sex scene in cinematic history, with some great shots of those amazing blinds.

As if that wasn’t romantic enough, Ben wakes up to find a note and some flowers. Awwww.

Ben with note and flowers in bed in Ben & Arthur

love note in Ben & Arthur

My heart has skipped so many beats I think I should probably go to the hospital, but I’ll stick it out for the sake of this review.

We can’t linger on the pleasantness for too long, because Ben’s jilted wife is ready to get some revenge, pulling a gun from her glove compartment and contemplating her apparent lack of reason.

Ben's wife holding gun in Ben & Arthur

I guess it was foolish of me to think Victor would be the main source of concern. No, everybody wants to tear Ben and Arthur apart in this unfair, cruel world.

Some mischievous wonky synth plays as she walks to Ben’s apartment. She knocks on the door, forces it open when Ben answers, and instantly points the gun at him, as he stands there surprisingly more annoyed than frightened.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 1.10.57 PM.png

She tells him she wants them to get remarried when they technically haven’t even gotten divorced yet, having thrown the divorce papers in his face, which she seems to forget.

Ben insists he’s gay, and his wife wisely suggest, “All right, I’ll be gay too and that’ll make it right for us to get married again.” She definitely thought this through.

“You’re not making any sense,” Ben reasons.

“Hey, I don’t make sense, you don’t make sense! I make sense, that’s who makes sense!”

Makes sense to me. Some of the best improv ever committed to film right there.

Ben attempts to wrestle the gun away in a pretty intense struggle.

woman and man struggling on ground

Ben manages to get the gun and tells her to leave. So, she just gets up and walks out. Yeah, Ben, don’t try to press aggravated assault charges or anything on the woman who just threatened your life. Surely that won’t come back to bite you in the ass.

A little while later, Arthur returns with a bag of groceries, which he drops in shock when he sees Ben holding the gun and still standing in the living area.

Arthur shocked in Ben & Arthur

Ben calmly explains what happened with his wife (or ex-wife, I guess), and Arthur suggests they go to the police, but Ben refuses. Like I said, that won’t come back to bite him in the ass at any point, and Ben doesn’t seem to think so either, saying she probably won’t come back to bother them and that she “just needs to cool down.”

Arthur talks to Ben about how he got a life insurance policy for him in case something happens to him, when Ben gets a call from their lawyer’s secretary telling him that she’s been murdered.

“Oh my God,” Arthur states, look of malaise plastered on his face like, of course, any normal human being.

Arthur looking really serious

You know, now that I think of it, none of these people seem too normal, do they?

Then again, the only person I know these days is myself and I don’t know if I’m even normal, so maybe these emotionless reactions are common and I’m the alien in this equation. Or maybe all of these people are supposed to be aliens disguised as humans, and don’t know that the others are aliens doing the same, and each is trying to convince the other that they’re really human. This would seem to mirror the supposed real plot of Neil Breen’s Fateful Findings that The Flop House Podcast proposed in their review of the latter.

I’m reading between the lines here, Mraovich. I’m onto your tricks.

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