The first trailer for the Ben-Hur remake begins like 300. Well, no, not exactly: It’s more like 300: Rise of an Empire. But by the end, it looks like someone watched an early cut of Gods of Egypt and thought “Hey, you know what would make this better? Fast and Furious.”
Yes, they’ve turned the classic Hollywood epic Ben-Hur into something that essentially amounts to a Fast and Furious movie, but with chariots.
Watch the trailer here
There is so much exposition they’ve squeezed into this 2.5 minute trailer that it’s almost overwhelming. Characters are introduced willy-nilly, backstories are narrated breathlessly, actions scenes are plugged. Then, there’s the task of tricking you into thinking Morgan Freeman’s role in it is more than just a cameo. Also, we never thought we’d get tired of watching Morgan Freeman do another one of his God-like characters, but Ben-Hur breaks that love affair as well.
If you’ve seen the original movie you’d be familiar with its Shakespearean plot of betrayal and revenge. You will also remember the iconic chariot race scene, that remains, to this day, a textbook example of how to put together an action scene.
Watch the original chariot race here
It’s the centrepiece of this movie too. And Timur Bekmambetov is a great visual director. He’s the guy behind Night Watch, Day Watch, Angelina Jolie’s Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This is by far his biggest movie. And he’s the only reason we’re still optimistic about it. But aside from the grand visuals and stylish Bekmambetovness of some of the shots, this trailer is cut like it belongs to a generic ‘90s action movie.
Ben-Hur stars Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman. It is expected to hit theatres on August 12.
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