Noah (2014): You know the story. God tells Noah that he's going to destroy the world with FIRE! No wait, WATER! Then he entrusts Noah with the task of zookeeper in an arc.
Just having some fun with the synopsis. If you don't like it, bite me. Ok let me pull you aside and let's have a talk real fast. REAL fast. Hi. How are you doing? Fantastic. Listen: do you want Noah to be a Bible thumper movie? Sorry, ain't gonna happen. You're gotta watch God's Not Dead again if you want one of those. Do you want Noah to be a textbook Darren Aronofsky movie? Tough sh*t. You ain't gonna get that either. Got it? Sweet. Good talk. Hey! Did you see what I did there? I just told you what is far and away the BIGGEST fault of this movie in a nice bedside manner. And who says chivalry isn't dead.... Back to the matter at hand though, this fault is hugely glaring throughout the movie. And is what kills this movie of having any real potential. On one hand, it is a Bible thumper movie. After all, this is a Biblical story, and it is clear that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, and us men have no true free will because we can't defeat His wishes (the main bad guy of the film, who is very obviously evil incarnate, says at one point "Man is not ruled by the heavens. Man is ruled by free will." It's pretty clear where this movie is coming down on these issues.) and we even get the Bible's creation story in the middle of the movie. It's essentially in this movie just to make the conservative Christians feel good, as it doesn't really have much of a purpose otherwise honestly.
But, on the other hand, this is a Darren Aronofsky film. It is very artsy, very grimy and very real. It is beautiful to look at, and as the animals come to the ark it is pretty cool to watch. There are these characters called the Watchers that are these giant rock creatures that were fantastic too. They looked very earthy and every action they took looked very meticulous and realistic. Despite the fact that they have like 6 hands. These are very much in the Aronofsky style. The Bible stories that were told in this were showed in a wonderfully artsy way, using great editing and cinematography to portray them. But Aronofsky also takes liberties with the film that will please those of us who liked movies like Black Swan, The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream. But will piss off the conservative Christians in the process. For example, there's a subplot with one of Noah's sons that's very.....liberal. I'll just leave it at that. This movie takes the whole killing idea very seriously, with Noah at points turning into a very talented soldier and killing quite a few people. Isn't that against a Commandment or something? There's also this idea, as in the overall theme, that Noah is obsessed (like most of the main characters in Aronofsky films) with an idea. The idea that God thinks mankind must end once they save all the animals. However this idea is inherently flawed because of one minor detail. We're still here. Or something. Something like that I don't know. I mean this movie is obviously trying to be "historically accurate" depending on what you believe, but I think we can all agree that Noah did not force mankind to end. Just saying. Because of this, the main dramatical tension point of this movie....well....not dramatic. It fails miserably. Frankly, I was bored for most of this 138 minute film. Oh ya, this movie is way too long. All of this combined leads to what I said at the beginning: this movie is not enough of a Bible thumper movie to please conservative Christians, however it is also not enough of an Aronofsky film to please the fans like Black Swan or Requiem did. It is too conservative to be a good Aronofsky film and yet too liberal for most of its viewers. THERE! Summed up the main fault in one sentence. Boop.
Let's see what else to talk about....acting? Sure! Crowe was ok, though his accent was kind of unnecessary. I wish we knew what happened to Jennifer Connelly. She used to be a good actress but now she is just overacting like nobody's business. Her big emotional scene was just overdone to no end. It was pretty laughable. The big up-and-comers that found themselves in this, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, have very minor roles and aren't really given the chance to show off their acting chops. Even though Watson definitely was the best part of this movie. As usual. By the way Lerman's main character introduction was him spying on Watson and her lover in the movie, played by Douglas Booth. For a little while I honestly thought we were going to get some romantic tension between Watson and Lerman, which made me chuckle to myself. Sound familiar? (If it doesn't, Lerman played the guy who fell madly in love with Watson's character in one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) The only other actors to mention here are Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder) who I didn't even realize was in this until I IMDB'd it and now can't pinpoint what character he was, Ray Winstone, who was the main bad guy and just inherently evil just because he's a man so obviously he's corrupt, and Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins has the only bit of comedy in this movie. At all. You get like two laughs out of his character and the subplot surrounding him and that's it. I get that it's a drama and not a comedy, but usually the tactic of throwing a laugh in every now and again does work in a drama and could've been welcome here during the huge segments of this movie that's overly self-aware and pretentious. The movie is trying so hard to pull on your heart strings, and it just doesn't work. There is one scene that got to me emotionally involving the screams of the people drowning outside the arc as the flood waters are rising, but this is a very quick scene, and by the next scene everyone outside is dead. Is that a spoiler? I don't think so. I mean after all we all know about the part where the flood killed everyone else other than Noah and his family. Again if you're upset at me for this part, bite me.
So what do we the viewers get here? A very mixed bag. A movie that tries to take a middle road on a topic where you can't really take a middle road on it, and as a result you get a very average and forgetful movie. Now those of us who aren't conservative Christians might find this movie intellectually stimulating at points, but that's about it. I was just bored too much to say that I had fun here. Now I seem to have run out of things to say. Well, I guess I should wrap this up then....either that or introduce Mr. Conway Twitty as a distraction. Nah, gonna do the former.
The Critique: a movie that takes a middle road on a topic that people feel very strongly about, and as a result dooms itself to mere average status by all.
The Recommendation: Wow. Um....if you have faith, go see it. It will likely be very stimulating. However those who are a fan of Aronofsky, wait until DVD or Netflix. If you're a Watson fan, watch Perks again. Russell Crowe fan? Watch L.A. Confidential again. Don't waste your time here. Geez this recommendation is as long as this movie.....HEYOH! I made a funny. LOL.
Rewatchibility: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 5/10 Average
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