<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbel, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman, Pilou Asbaek
Running Time: 2 hours
Hollywood doesn’t care because they don’t have any ideas so they’re just ripping off old movie names and remaking the classics, most of the time terribly.
Ben-Hur (1959). A classic. With a classic actor like Charlton Heston. And who the fuck do they get to do his role? Jack Huston; okay so this guy right here:
Looks like Jesus doesn’t he? Well they should have just made him Christ, Our Saviour, because Rodrigo Santoro would probably have made a better Judah Ben-Hur. Neither is Huston physically imposing nor does he have a soul of steel.
If that isn’t enough, everything else in the film is lacklustre. I couldn’t even follow what was going on in the first half as they rapidly try to establish characters and relationships because they know that they jolly well can’t make a film that’s three hours long in this day and age.
The reason there will never again be classic films like Sound of Music, Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments is simply because that period of time and that generation of people had a charm and sophistication that was unique and golden. The locations were lush, the actors were healthy and genuinely happy people without any whey protein or botox in their bodies and there was no CGI or 3D.
What do you expect from the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Darkest Hour! Yuck! Seriously. Who the hell gave this guy the reins of a film with a title like Ben-Hur? Are American studios filled with total schmucks now? It would seem that only Disney (with Marvel) is producing films with any degree of sincerity nowadays. Pete’s Dragon is a good example of a very old classic film that has been recreated with love.
Telling you the story of this film would be utterly useless. They’ve even changed the original story to make it have a happier ending! It’s totally ridiculous stuff. Why on earth would the studios do this? Why would people even watch this? We should all get together and simply say “We will not watch remakes anymore!”
Please don’t watch this movie. If you are from the younger generation who likes watching Netflix instead of actually connecting with people then you probably won’t want to, but if you’re a relatively intelligent human being then go out and get the original Ben-Hur (1959) and imbibe that. It’ll give you an understanding of how crap movies are nowadays.
PS: Jack Huston looks much better with his hair and beard trimmed as he does in the final part of the film and that in itself would have made a difference to his character if they had done that from the very beginning.