The use of every special effect modern film filming could invent still doesn't save Darren Aronofsky's new movie, Noah, from being a dreadful bore. The biggest problem is that Noah goes through transformations of character that never ring true. One minute you love him, but soon after you want to grab him and shake some common sense into his seemingly blind faith. Despite the sweeping vistas and superb cinematography the movie misses its mark.
Based on the biblical story of Noah's Ark, as related in The Book of Genesis, mankind is about to be obliterated, but God gives Noah time to build an ark that will hold a pair of every living animal on earth along with Noah and his family. The bible story is pretty sparse, so Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel came up with some of the most ridiculous characters and situations imaginable to expand the story into absurd territory.
The film opens with Noah as a young boy standing on a hill with his father who's about to give him the serpent's skin of the original serpent in Eden which has been passed down from generation to generation. A young king named Tubal-Cain, however, wants to make this hill into a mine. He kills Noah's father and takes the skin as Noah runs away. We have established the good guys and the bad guys. But the big problem is that the good guy is poorly defined.
There's a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie, "artistic license had been taken" which is the understatement of the century. A perfect example are the Watchers. a group of fallen angels who look like something out of modern day sci-fi action films like the "Transformers" . They are mentioned elsewhere in the bible, but are way out of place here. They are made of stone and have six arms, white hollow eyes and appear to be industructible but Noah sure needs them when the going gets tough.
Noah dreams a lot and always seems to be in water. It's a dream that convinces him to build the Ark which is going to take about 8 years. This is when I started looking at my watch. We get to meet grandfather, Methuselah, who plants a seed from the Garden of Eden and creates a forest so they'll have wood to build the Ark . Noah's 3 sons acquire romantic liaizons (as I recall they were all married in the Bible) . The evil Tubal-Cain sends his hordes to try and board the Ark when it start to rain, but The Watchers successfully defend the Ark except for Tubal-Cain who sneaks on board.
Noah is a pretty dark film. The brutal fights lead to a lot of blood and gore. Noah actually becomes annoying in his singular attempt to carry out God's word. Oh, they never use the word God in the film. It's always "The Creator". They don't hide the obvious environmental agenda as the Creator's wrath descends on mankind for overtaxing the earth's natural resources. These are not objections, just observations.
By the way, no animals were harmed in the making of this film because none were used. They were all computer generated
Cast: Noah - Russell Crowe; Nameeh, his wife - Jennifer Connelly; Tubal-Cain - Ray Winstone; Il-La - Emma Watson and Methusela - Anthony Hopkins. They all do well, given the material they have to work with.
Time: 138 minutes
Ratng": PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content
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