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BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.25 x 0.75 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 43381891
- Media Format : Color, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 4 minutes
- Release date : December 13, 2016
- Actors : Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro
- Studio : Paramount
- ASIN : B01KN66IME
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #13,939 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I could write a book of the reasons this movie is bad. And if I did, it would be titled "Ben-Hur" because this movie has little in common with the book other than names and a general outline. A very general outline. My biggest problem is this movies overall lack of care for any historical accuracy beyond costumes. They portrayed the Romans fighting man on man, rather than in the lines/formations that made them such deadly opponents. They had Ben-Hur, a Jew, break the 3rd commandant multiple times. They had Jesus growing up in Jerusalem. Apparently they missed that he was often called "Jesus of Nazareth". Also the haircuts were all wrong. Jewish men did not have long hair. I know all those paintings of Jesus portray him as a European with long hair, but that's thanks to one of the Popes, don't remember which one.
Moving on, they messed up the timeline, changing when Messala went to Rome and everything else. For no apparent reason, they have Pontius Pilot ride through Jerusalem at the beginning instead of Valarius Gratius. And then they switch out accidentally dropping roof tiles for someone shooting at him. Why? The people who made this movie seem to have operated by the mantra "If it works, change it."
That also applies to specific story points. All of the ones that I thought were the best have been either changed or removed entirely. Want a specific one? You know that Roman who's life Ben-Hur saved that then adopted him giving him Roman citizenship which is a vital point for the rest of the story? Let's replace him with Morgan Freeman finding Ben-Hur washed up on the beach after a shipwreck. This does, of course, add several plot holes, but who cares? Not the people who made this film. It's almost as if rather than reading the book, they had an intern watch the silent film then give a brief summary of the events that they then worked from.
TL:DR, if you like the book or either of the other live action Ben-Hur films, you won't like this movie. If you don't care about them or historical accuracy, you might like it.
It is a quick paced action type film that probably tries to do more than is possible in 2 hours but it is enjoyable and watchable. Just don't expect anything epic..
Now, at the end of the film, as I watched the credits roll, I thought that, more than anything, it was a mash up of the 1956 film and an episode of FRIENDS (the one about Joey's chariot ride). The characters, their sensibilities, their inner lives, everything is 21st-century, urban, young adult. I can't go into this anymore without writing a spoiler, so I will leave that there.
Even so, I could've gone along with the story, until the ending. It reminds me of those 18th-century theater companies that rewrote the endings of Shakespeare's tragedies so they were not so sad. Juliet wakes up to find Romeo and Emelia tells Othello about the handkerchief business before he kills Desdemona, and everybody lives happily ever after. The ending was about that dumb.
I think they should've just made this movie and call it something else, but not Ben Hur. I actually read the book, when I was a youngster, I remember it vividly, and remember a lot of details that made it hard to watch this movie. Like how Judah learned to drive a chariot, really? I kept waiting for "wax on, wax off."
I really did miss the part about the three wise men. And the Roman who adopts Judah. Okay, it's a melodrama, I admit it, but it's a terrific melodrama. This movie just got it wrong.
Top reviews from other countries
Morgan Freeman is the only big star in this production and he adds all the charm and charisma you would expect - which is fortunate because some of the dialogue is NOT good. (I hate it when people say "OK" to each other in historical epics, haha!) Thankfully, Morgan could add gravitas to a takeaway menu!
I also VERY much liked Jack Huston in the title role. He's not a big guy like Charlton Heston (in the 1959 version) and looks MUCH younger, thus bringing more vulnerability to the part. He also had an iron-grey hair look going on towards the end which I found very appealing. ;-)
All in all, this is SO different to the 1959 film that maybe they should've given it an alternative title. Apart from the galley slave sequence and the chariot race, most of the narrative, and certainly the ending, is TOTALLY different to the Heston version. It's not a remake - more of a reimagining.
Anyway - I bought this through Amazon's sellers and it cost me just under a fiver. I think it's well worth a look for that price. :)
Fazit: dieses Remake ist überflüssiger Müll, schaut Euch lieber das Original mit Charlton Heston an.
The flow of the narrative is also very patchy like it has been constructed to fit around commercial breaks on television. If you are thinking of getting this, think again. The 1959 version with Charlton Heston is a hundred times better than this tripe.
I am no Christian but I am rather disturbed at how Jesus comes across as just some mildly charismatic guy who pops up now and again, okay you see him getting kissed by Judas and arrested and crucified but this is all skipped over in a rather perfunctory manner, giving it zero gravity.
The story of Judah Ben-Hur’s mother and sister’s incarcerations, getting leprosy and healing is also extremely muddled here. This film never feels in the slightest bit epic. Even the chariot race is rather tame until the end, but just when it builds a little bit of tension, it just becomes laughably unbelievable.
Morgan Freeman brings the only bit of presence to the screen, unfortunately his character is made up like he should be in Pirates of the Caribbean.
A character who should have some authority in the story is Messala but he Just doesn’t have any.
Whereas the original was believeable this one is fantasy,the chariot race was quite good.
This is ok if you want something to watch to while away some time but to me not a great film.