Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Remake Ben Hur

was mildly entertaining. A good way to kill a hot, Summer afternoon, but the film fell far short of the 1959 epic.

Some thoughts:

This version was so anti-climatic.

Having Judah and Messala being adopted brothers did nothing to further the story.

Lacked the irony of Judah Ben-Hur being adopted by the Roman Consul, Quintas Arias.

Ditto when Judah returned to Jerusalem as Young Quintas Arias to exact his revenge on Messala.

The movie didn't remotely follow the book or any storyline of the other film versions which did.

There was no excitement in the chariot race. It was more of 100 meter dash.

Morgan Freeman played Morgan Freeman instead of Ilderim.

Again, the ironic point was missed that Arias trained Judah in the sport of charioteering. And Judas, as young Arias' reputation as a winning charioteer having won races in the Circus Maximus was known.

The story of the Christ (the sub-title of the novel) wasn't woven through the movie until the end.

This version lacked drama and tension.

The ending was touchy-feely instead of the dramatic realization of the redemptive power of forgiveness and love.

I'd be surprised if it won an academy award let alone 11 of them.

Glad we saw it with discounted tickets. You might want to wait until the movie is shown on network television. Better yet, watch the 1959 version starring Charlton Heston.

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