BEN HUR (2016)
Jack Huston stars as the prince turned slave in the biblical remake Ben Hur!
Hollywood believes that today’s youth won’t go past the new release rack, so they feel the need to remake all the classic films. The latest target is the biblical classic that had Charlton Heston racing chariots against the Romans in the 1959 epic Ben Hur. The updated version stars Jack Huston as Judah Ben Hur and Morgan Freeman as gambler IIderim as the pair that take down the Romans in a race that will leave you breathless.
Judah Ben Hur (Huston) , Prince of Jerusalem, was raised by his family with his step brother Messala Severus. Messala was an roman orphan after his family stood up against Caesar and they were crucified. Judah and Messala were normal brothers, they raced horses and were very competitive. Messala joined the Roman army to see the world and step out of Juddah’s shadow and prove himself to Tirzah (Sofia Black-D’Elia).
While Messala was away Judah married servant girl Esther (Nazanin Boniadi) and Jerusalem has had zealots making attacks against romans. The zealots are led by a spiritual man named Jesus of Nazareth (Rodrigo Santoro) and Judah discovers Tirzah is helping them. Messala returns home as a commander of Caesars army telling Judah to speak to his people so there is no uprising when Roman leader Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) leads the legion through town.
An arrow nearly misses Pilate hitting a soldier in the throat. Judah and his family are arrested by Messala as traitors. Esther escapes, but Tirzah and her mother are imprisoned and Judah is sent to the ships to row until he dies. During a battle with the Greeks, Judah’s ship is sunk and he is the only survivor and washes up on shore, found by an African gambler IIderim. IIderim tells Judah he his heading to Jerusalem to race chariots in the games. Judah is brought along to take care of the horses and sees this as the opportunity to seek revenge on Messala.
Ben Hur is a biblical story and is very slow paced until you get to the chariot race. Huston and Freeman are great in the film as well as Santoro as Jesus. The story is the same as the 1959 epic but done much better in 3D and has better special effects in the race.
I would recommend checking out Ben Hur at a matinee to save a few bucks, but then take that savings to the DVD store and rent the original.