Among the pantheon of unnecessary and infuriating modern Hollywood remakes of iconic films, this looks to have a good shout at being the most utterly sacrilegious.
Hear the name ‘Ben-Hur’, and you probably think instantly of a jaw-dropping epic, with Charlton Heston on career-best form, and THAT incredible chariot race – one of the most extraordinary practical action sequences ever filmed.
After this year, unfortunately, you’re more likely to picture dodgy wigs, awkward delivery of badly-written dialogue, and oodles of distracting CGI.
That’s right: Ben-Hur has seemingly been ‘re-imagined’ as a sub-300 pile of historical revenge tripe. From the director who brought us Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, no less.
Watch the trailer for the remake and weep:
Painful, isn’t it?
“Based on one of the greatest stories ever told” screams the title card, as Morgan Freeman looks and sounds bored, and the assembled cast hammily serve up cliche after cliche. The obligatory Inception horns and dubstep booms certainly don’t help matters.
There’s something worryingly cheap and unconvincing about the whole look of the movie. The fact that you probably didn’t even realise it existed before now should confirm that this isn’t the grand, mega-budget summer tentpole blockbuster you’d expect a remake of Ben-Hur to be.
Director Timur Bekmambetov made a promising start to his career with cult fantasy thrillers Daywatch and Nightwatch, and the fun action caper Wanted, but his trademark time and physics-warping antics look totally out of place here.
And just what is up with Morgan Freeman’s dreadlocks?!
Ben-Hur will hit cinemas in August