Some characters make sudden-drastic changes for plot convenience
I got duped into thinking that this was based on a book by LEE Wallace, the Scottish footballer team member
First off, I’m not a huge fan of movies with narration as a means for story-telling… though I wouldn’t complain if it was by Morgan Freeman’s God-like voice.
Fortunately, the movie begins with just that Holy Voiceness!
Based on the Lew Wallace novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the tale of the charioteer is a well known story of vengeance and often confused for actual history (Charlton Heston’s version, at least, apparently qualifies as legendary!). Unsurprisingly, this iteration of Ben-Hur is, in fact, the fifth film adaptation of it.
Nevertheless, I had my concerns regarding the genre and labels surrounding this movie. Having never watched the classic 1959 version, I was mostly under the impression that anything branded as “epic” and “historical” wold probably be more historical and just epically boring. However, Ben-Hur was surprisingly entertaining and pretty action-packed for what could be somewhat considered a ‘religious’ film!
One of the strongest aspect of the film has to be its pacing. Every scene was relevant to the plot and at no point during the 2 hours was I bored. If, for some reason you actually do get bored, the iconic chariot race climax is still something you wouldn’t want to miss! Evolved and improved with better effects and production design, Ben-Hur’s chariot race scene has to be the main highlight of the film!
Another thing that impressed me was the acting. Accompanied with the experience of Morgan Freeman and his unusually attractive wig in the film, the main cast was simply a joy to watch! The powerful emotions that the characters portray on screen further contributed to the strong screenplay. After American Hustle, this might just be another milestone in Jack Huston’s career, hopefully launching him to greater heights (he certainly did justice to Charlton Heston)! And also… Toby Kebbell for proving to everyone that he can also play human roles and not just violent apes.