Why-bother remake of the old-time chariot-race epic is dragged down by a number of factors: 1) The numb acting, led by Jack Huston as the title wronged Jewish prince and Toby Kebbel as his Roman nemesis; 2) The visuals, generally shot from behind obstacles in a gray haze; 3) The awkward combo of grotesquerie and fluffy romance, courtesy director Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter); 4) And the hasty-looking “miraculous” ending. The best thing about the movie is the race itself, but it’s so dusty we have to squint to see who’s winning. Screenplay by Keith R. Clarke and John Ridley, adapted from the novel by Lew Wallace (125 min.).
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Producer: Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, Duncan Henderson, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason Brown
Cast: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Moises Arias, Pilou Asbæk, Marwan Kenzari and Johan Asbaek