NOAH (12)
D: Darren Aronofsky
Paramount/Regency/Protozoa (Scott Franklin, Darren Aronofsky, Arnon Milchan & Mary Parent)
US 2014
138 mins


W: Darren Aronofsky & Ari Handel
DP: Matthew Libatique
Ed: Andrew Weisblum
Mus: Clint Mansell
PD: Mark Freidberg

Russell Crowe (Noah), Jennifer Connelly (Naameh), Ray Winstone (Tubal-Cain), Logan Lerman (Ham), Douglas Booth (Shem), Emma Watson (Ila), Anthony Hopkins (Methuselah)

I really enjoyed director Darren Aronofsky's previous films (Requiem For A Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan), but can't help but think this was a really bad choice for him. He didn't do himself any favours either, judging by the final product.
Religious epics haven't really been tackled since the 1950's, when Cecil B. DeMille brought The Ten Commandments to the silver screen and Ben-Hur won the Best Picture Oscar.  
This antediluvian tale tries to modernise the biblical text by adding some magic and wonder, but it really doesn't work because it's all one big contradiction.
The story opens with a young Noah watching his father slaughtered and then fast-forwards to the peaceful, ecological-minded vegetarian as a man, teaching his sons to respect the planet and all it's flora and fauna. He receives a message from God (represented by a dream) that a flood is coming and therefore must build an ark to keep his family and all the animals safe.  To do this, Noah gets help from some rock-beasts, fallen angels who had wandered into the film from either the Transformers or Lord Of The Rings set (this is still a mystery).
The ark is built in no time at all, with Noah and his family seemingly there just to sweep up all the bird shit after a flock fly straight into the open doors and go to sleep.
Barbaric king Ray Winstone then turns up to tell Noah what the odds are before the rains begin, then sneaks aboard for a showdown after Noah has some internal conflict over whether or not his adopted daughter's unborn children should live.
One of the main reasons this film fails is because it seems to abandon all the laws of physics, yet still tries to remain 'realistic', it also portrays Noah as some kind of fanatical religious zealot who is willing to kill babies in the name of God.
In my opinion, this film came 60 years too late and rides too closely on the success of Lord Of The Rings and other recent fantasy-adventures.
The production design, costumes and visual effects are technically decent but the sermonic story and pretentious direction led the film well astray.
Russell Crowe in Noah
Russell Crowe in Noah