Blu-ray Review: Ben-Hur
By John Corrado
★★ (out of 4)
A remake of the classic 1959 biblical epic, which was itself a remake of a 1925 silent film, Ben-Hur is another version of the classic story of adoptive brothers Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and Massala Severus (Toby Kebbell), who’s loyalty is tested when Massala joins the Roman army and betrays the family. This eventually leads them to settle their feud in a chariot race, with the life of Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) providing a backdrop for their story.
Although this new version of Ben-Hur isn’t terrible – the performances are fine and director Timur Bekmambetov does stage some decent set-pieces, including the pretty impressively pulled off chariot race at the end – it’s just a remake that feels rushed and largely needless, especially considering the stature of the 1959 film.
The Blu-ray also includes deleted and extended scenes, four featurettes on the film and original story, as well as a trio of music videos and brief “behind the scenes” looks at two of them.
Ben-Hur is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release. It’s 124 minutes and rated PG.