Ben-Hur (2016)

Marco Beltrami

" Ben-Burn more like it "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Like all remakes, even the greats need to suffer. Ben-Hur is the next in line to show audiences that new doesn't necessarily mean better. Like all remakes, even the greats need to suffer. Because musically you can hardly top the very best. Miklos Rozsa poured a lot of decibels in his epic score of 1959. But the impression lasted a lifetime. Ben-Hur of Marco Beltrami and its accompanying film will sadly not last a couple of weeks. Is this the fault of Beltrami or someone else? Well, if you heard Gods of Egypt you were probably wetting your pants knowing that Marco Beltrami was back on epic soil. But others (producers, directors, hell the people who decide that these movies get a remake) had other intentions, and just like the film they wanted to make it darker, edgier and rougher. Leaving no room for color, epic grandeur or creativity. There are even more growls than themes ("Galley Slaves", "Rammed Hard", "Brother vs Brother"), showing that Ben-Hur is anything but a return to greatness. Beltrami truly has it in him (because in a way Gods of Egypt deserved to be in such an epic re-telling), but sometimes composers need to play it to please the people in charge, not the people wanting to pay for this film. It's effective, there's a decent (typical Beltrami theme) and it definitely has enough detail to please several people. But it hardly makes an impression, it's incredibly dark and edgy and it makes me want to revisit a true epic score in the end. Gods of Egypt if you want a taste of the really great Marco Beltrami. Ben-Hur of Miklos Rozsa if you want the one and only epic Ben-Hur score out there.

One decent main theme, it makes a small impact.
The action is as expected loud and rhythmic, it works to a degree.
While the music works, it hardly makes an impression. Besides it's mostly centered around the main theme.
A lot of short tracks leave hardly any room for development.
Lots of growling music ("Gallery Slaves"), more darkness than melody for the slaves, it shows the kind of color that went into this movie.

Track Listing

1. Ben-Hur Theme (2.52)
2. Jerusalem 33 A.D. / Sibling Rivalry (2.23)
3. Carrying Judah (1.57)
4. Mother's Favorite (1.21)
5. Messala Leaves Home (1.33)
6. Dear Messala (1.46)
7. Messala Returns (1.33)
8. Speaking of Zealots (1.27)
9. Messala and Tirzah (1.36)
10. Brothers Divide (1.40)
11. Home Invasion (4.41)
12. Galley Slaves (4.59)
13. Rammed Hard (2.18)
14. Judah Ashore (2.29)
15. Horse Healer (1.26)
16. Ben and Esther (1.38)
17. Training (3.19)
18. Invitation (1.16)
19. Ilderim Wagers (2.38)
20. Leper Colony / Messala Will Pay (3.04)
21. The Circus (2.39)
22. Chariots of Fire (4.17)
23. Brother vs. Brother (4.26)
24. Carried Off (1.22)
25. Jesus Arrested (3.09)
26. Forgiveness (1.51)
27. Modeh Ani Haiku (2.49)

Total Length: 66.28
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 2 votes - average 3.5/5)

Released by

Sony Classical SK 535476.2 (regular release 2016)