REVIEW — “Noah”
Going into “Noah” it’s hard not to think back on the story you were told as a child. The one about a man who had a dream the world would flood so he built a giant Ark, gathered 2 of every animal, and survived the Great Flood. Take all that, and set it aside, as we are getting a fresh take on the classic tale.
Putting aside religion I can say that director/writer Darren Aronofsky’s version is a lot more believable than any other I’ve ever heard, but at the end of the day it is still just a movie. He isn’t trying to change opinions or taint anyone’s beliefs, but he is trying to give us a new version of this great character. With an all-star cast, great behind-the-scenes team, and a decent story we are given something worth seeing.
The first thing to mention is the incredible cast. Bringing Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly back together (they stared in “A Beautiful Mind”) was a genius idea, and the chemistry they have is electric. There was a missed opportunity, however, with Logan Lerman and Emma Watson (they were in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) as they’ve proven they have great chemistry in the past, but aren’t given much interaction in this. While Watson tears up the screen (she really is amazing in almost anything she does) her counterpart, Douglas Booth, adds nothing to the dynamic of their relationship. Voicing fallen angels were Nick Nolte and an unrecognizable Kevin Durand (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), but they weren’t given much to vocalize besides back story and exposition (another missed opportunity). I, of course, enjoyed Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, and he brought a little much needed comic relief to the drama/thriller.
The story itself takes a little too long to get started. There is a lot of unneeded buildup to get to the point where we finally see the Ark being built, and then it takes too long after the flood to reach a conclusion. The pacing was just off, and left a lot of large dull gaps that could have been cleaned up considerably. On top of that the dialogue was nothing special, and the characters were pretty one-dimensional (only Noah showed any kind of development or range).
I really enjoyed Aronofsky’s take on things, and his use of imagery, explanation of the Garden of Eden, and inclusion of Evolution to go hand-in-hand with Creationism offered a nice variance from the straightforward God Is All approach some people have with this story. The CGI was a little weak, and some of it (like the fallen Angels) felt so out of place, but as a whole they painted a complete picture of a desolate time, and the locations they used were spot on for what needed to happen.
As a whole religious people have nothing to get upset about with this. Remember going into it that it’s just a movie, not meant to change anyone’s opinion, and you should be able to enjoy yourself. Despite the severe lack of character development, slow pacing at parts, and somewhat hokey CGI we are still left with a decent big budget flick worth a trip to the theater. 3.5/5