What’s most shocking about Ben-Hur is how thoroughly it bungles the two most iconic and riveting sequences from the 1959 original.
What’s particularly noteworthy about the picture is not so much its crude comic content (some of it rather insipid) but the weightier thematic elements that envelop the storyline. Sausage Party is about nothing less than existential angst, spiritual fulfillment, and the search for a higher power in a potentially Godless universe.
This fourth entry in the series (fifth if one includes that offshoot starring Jeremy Renner) works for a surprisingly lengthy amount of time until it finally, perhaps irrevocably, runs out of steam.
This third entry manages to travel at warp speed when it comes to delivering a satisfying mix of action, exposition, effects and — here’s the real key — characterization.
While it stands to make a fortune at the box office, it’s unlikely to make much of a dent in the hearts of even its most ardent supporters, the sort who insist that critics are being handsomely paid off by Marvel to trash DC adaptations (chuckle over that one as I step away to fuel my private jet) or who start petitions to shut down Rotten Tomatoes because they don’t like seeing an abundance of poor reviews.
Is it better than the original? Not quite, although the distance between the two is a lot closer than anyone will care to admit.
Like James Bond, Tarzan on screen has never gone away, but unlike the dapper double-oh agent, his movie appearances rarely generate much notice
The fine performances by Paul Dano as a suicidal castaway and Daniel Radcliffe as the flatulent corpse who becomes his BFF (as opposed to his BFG) aren’t nearly enough compensation when matched against a screenplay that’s isn’t innovative as much as it’s simply idiotic
Unlike that 1982 blockbuster, The BFG isn’t emotionally gripping or excitingly staged. It’s just … nice.
While the original ID contained characters who kept us entertained, this picture adds characters — and their attendant actors — who are so devoid of personality, they barely register as living organisms.