Ben-Hur 2016 was not the remake we asked for, but the remake that was made anyway. It was not a terrible film, and some of the action and better special effects were pretty good (especially the climatic chariot race and the ship battle), but it ultimately lacked soul.
A little like like hearing some cover version of a Whitney Houston song sung by an average contestant in America's Got Talent.
It has big shoes to fill, and the original has such an iconic status that to expect this 2016 edition to fill its shoes may be asking too much.
Jack Huston is no Charlton Heston, but he makes a serviceable Judah Ben-Hur. Morgan Freeman looks like he is dialing it in but he is still a pleasure to watch.
I do enjoy director Bekmambetov's other work, like Wanted and the Day Watch/Night Watch movies. This one was so-so for me. The first half of the movie was sloooow. It picked up in the second half a little. I did not see much 3D-ness in the IMAX 3D edition of this movie, so I think catch it in 2D is enough.
Some differences to watch out for: 2016 Judah and Messala are brothers instead of bros. And Jesus is actually a visible character in this remake.