What it’s about:
Judah Ben-Hur, played by Jack Huston, and Messala Severus, played by Toby Kebbell, are brothers but one was born into a world of money and privilege and the other was adopted into it. The cracks in their seemingly strong relationship are magnified by their differences in social stature until eventually everything falls apart and Ben-Hur loses not only his family but also his faith.
What we thought about it:
This movie has a rating well below par on most movie rating sites. I tried to avoid all the negative talk before I saw it but it was impossible. So when I was waiting for the film to start I was already dreading what the next two hours of my life would be. But, those fears were unfounded, because while this movie is not perfect, it’s not awful.
Its two protagonists have decent character arcs, the script – while predictable – is not altogether unpalatable, and the direction is actually above average.
I think the real highlights of the production were the sound editing and cinematography. It made me pay attention when I found myself losing focus (forgive me – it is two and a half hours).
The negative aspects of this movie are some cardboard acting moments, self-indulgent direction in parts, and a script that is about as original as the oldest book in the world.
What I also didn’t enjoy was the use of Morgan Freeman, as a character so one-dimensional that I heard people audibly sigh when his narration started off the movie.
Another thing that bugged me was the use of the female characters as props for the leading men. This movie really does not pass the Bechdel test by any stretch of the imagination. There are lots of tropes related to this that you’ll be able to spot from a mile away, but I won’t spoil for you.
What was interesting about this movie was its use of a non-linear storyline. You start off at the end and then rewind to the big moments in the protagonists’ lives then eventually go back to the moment you saw at the start.
Go watch this movie if you enjoy action movies in which the main character needs to lose himself and then find himself after much adversity. So, if you like 90% of epic action movies made.
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