Saturday, March 29, 2014


Writer/Director Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is an equal opportunity movie.  There is an equal opportunity for the same person to both really love parts of it and really hate parts of it.

We are, initially, treated to rock creatures that look like they’ve stepped out of the original Flash Gordon serial as if it were directed by Ed Wood.  Is this the sci-fi version of the biblical story?

No, these are fallen angels, cursed to help humankind, albeit the paternalistic “mankind” is used throughout.  But, perhaps, that is appropriate here as mankind has to be ended for screwing up and, indeed, the only male characters worth saving are Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) and Noah’s son Shem (Douglas Booth).
It’s really Noah’s wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), Shem’s wife Ila (Emily Watson) and Ham’s (Logan Lerman) should-have-been wife Na’el (Madison Davenport), who are the true heroines and make the film’s wished-for nobility emerge. 

Noah (Russell Crowe) starts out heroically, but then goes psycho, wanting to kill his family.  Those long voyages will do that to you, I guess.

If I sound glib, it’s because, much of the time, this film does not seem to take itself seriously.

What I did like was the ark, designed by Mark Friedberg, the cinematography of the great Matthew Libatique and Aronofsky’s and Co-Writer Ari Handel’s ideas as to how Noah might have gotten the wood to build the ark, how the animals, birds, etc. were maintained over the 150 days of rain and 40 days of waiting before they left the ark and why they would have been under siege once others discovered what they were building.

For the effort alone, I give Noah a 3+ out of 5, but Connelly and Watson both deserve a 4+ out of 5.

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