Ben-Hur director Timur Bekmambetov offers nothing new to the cinematic lexicon of the chariot race.
The beautiful game, as Pelé called football (or soccer to us Americans), has never felt like such a sedate slog.
The hygienization of Rio into what at times looks like a soulless Southern California town is so scandalous it feels like a spoof of the Cities of Love series.
It constantly blunders into stylistic choices and narrative clichés that sabotage the sturdy two-hander at its center.
It doles out a shock or hits a (usually hollow) emotional note every few minutes with mechanical precision.
Ficarra and Requa’s film turns out to be a strained trumpeting of the return of the proverbial king of the box office, Will Smith.
The movie has less actual nutritional value than 10 bowls of crushed Froot Loops dust.
The film leaves no doubt of the original’s influence, but to watch it is to sit dumbstruck at the cynicism of Hollywood bean counting.
Disappointing supplements notwithstanding, Lionsgate’s BD release of the under-seen The Last Stand does well by a film that’s proud to be small.