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I've been an IMDb lurker for several years and this film was so poor
that I felt motivated to write my first-ever review. It's bad on so
many levels, I'm not even quite sure where to begin...
Storyline: This film probably represents the biggest rick-roll I've ever seen. Naturally, when people see a film about a great flood, titled Noah, the automatic assumption is that it's a re-telling of the biblical story. This film cynically exploits that expectation and then drops a hammer on the bewildered audience. I believe most people who watch this film will recognise that something is deeply "wrong" in it's portrayal, but they're less likely to realise that the fundamental reason is because the director has flooded (pun intended) his movie with imagery and references based not in Christian theology, but Gnostic mysticism. I'm not Christian, so I wasn't offended by this perspective on a theological level, but that didn't lessen my disappointment on a cinematic level at all.
Special effects: Wow. Just... Wow. The effects in this film wouldn't look out of place in Jason and the Argonauts, or The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. If you're not familiar with either of these (much better) movies, it's possibly because you weren't born when they were produced, way back in the 60's and 70's. In any case, it saddens me to know that in 2014, effects of this standard are deemed acceptable for general release. But as soon as I finish this review, I'll be dusting off my Magnavox for a quick game of Wipeout just to complete the sensation of time-travel.
Acting: This film sports a strong cast with some of my favourite actors and most of them discharge their duties as well as might be expected given the script they're stuck with. I did feel there was some overacting with some of the more emotionally loaded scenes, but overall, I'm more disappointed with the cast for accepting their roles than how they actually played them.
Conclusion: Dear reader, I implore you. Go for a walk. Read a book. Call that friend you haven't caught up with for ages. Do anything but watch this film. I didn't pay to watch this mockery, but I still feel cheated. My OH slept through most of it and I feel jealous. If you avoid it altogether after reading this and other reviews, then I can at least feel like I've done my good deed for the day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even though I had read a number of critical articles about Noah, I went
anyway on opening day. I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt.
Even giving it that benefit, it was one of the worst movies I have
seen. I was not expecting a completely Biblical account of the Noah
story, and knew that additions to the story would have to be added,
since the Bible version is quite brief. However, who would have thought
that would mean weird talking Rock creatures, which looked like they
came from a Transformer movie. And the area where Noah lived was
totally barren rock....until he planted the seed Methuzalah gave him,
and immediately an entire forest shoots up out of the ground, to supply
wood to build the ark. When the "flood" came, instead of it starting to
rain, huge columns of water were shooting up from the ground. What's
I was especially looking forward to the animal scenes, since the Humane Society commended the director for not using any real animals in the filming. Well, that was more than obvious! Computer animation has come a long way over the years, but this movie apparently used one of the earliest versions of CG. It looked totally fake, and all occurred in about a minute.
The acting was terrible, including Russell Crowe. And the script was even worse. After a very climactic scene, where he almost killed the twin babies in a state of rage, he explains that "All I saw was love." I almost left at that point!
If one reads all the reader reviews, I think it will become apparent that most of the viewers agree with my comments. At the end of the movie, our audience spontaneously let out an audible groan. I have never heard such negative comments as people were walking up the aisle.
Save your money!
I was very much on the sidelines but even I noticed some back and
forwards over the film Noah. Some seemed furious that it was not in
line with Biblical teaching while others seemed to take glee in the
religious objections to the film; for me I don't really have a dog in
that fight so the fuss did not interest me and the film didn't seem
like something I wanted to pay £10 a seat to go and see. That said, I
was curious to watch it because I found it hard to believe that Darren
Aronofsky would churn out a blockbuster without something of interest
The film wastes no time with adding flesh to the basic bones of the story and, if you're looking to get upset by the presence of fallen angel rock monsters, then the film serves them up to you right at the front. I guess if you came to see a bible story then this may upset you since the bible does not mention these creatures, but for me coming to a film, I really don't care what characters it creates or devices it uses as long as they work. From here we find Noah living with his family separate from men, tending to a nature that the others exploit again an environmental message of stewardship that (oddly) upset those that proclaim the bible as the truth. As per the story, the message comes of the destruction of man and Noah along with his family and rock monsters, get to building an ark for the animals which will be saved to repopulate the world. It is quite the story and, if you are honest, were it not for the fact that it is lifted from the bible, it is a story that would pretty much get laughed out of any pitch meeting.
So it is to the film's credit that, although it is inherently senseless, it makes a decent fist of telling it. Given the resources available, it does this primarily by throwing effects and scale at the viewer. This works to a point and it is a pretty good looking film with some particularly memorable scenes. The main thing for me that offered interest was that the central character of Noah is essentially a religious extremist who is dooming a world of men to death because of something god told him. The film disappoint though because it doesn't do enough with this. It plays it straight and sets it up and there are points where you are not sure who is the "good guy" here since Tubal-cain is really just trying to survive death, likewise the obsession of Noah of ending man's time on Earth and only leaving animals. It doesn't work though because it doesn't go harder on this and instead of drawing us into the madness of his obsession and the terrible things he therefore stands by and watches, the film actually feels plodding and not entirely sure of itself throughout these aspects. On the other side of this, the film never throws itself into the "epic effects blockbuster" camp either and, while noisy and large, the action sequences don't really work either.
It doesn't feel like an Aronofsky film; it doesn't feel like there was much here to challenge or to be explored or rather it does feel like there is, but the film doesn't go for it. The cast play it straight and professionally but not always to the film's benefit. Crowe in particular is a straight bat and even when he is acting in extreme ways, you feel like he maybe doesn't "get it" since earnestness is his consistent approach throughout. Connelly and Watson are both more expressive and I guess the idea was that their performances would be our way to experience the darker side of Noah's steadfastness. Winstone gives out a good series of gowls when called upon but again his weaknesses are more to do with the film not exploring his character and Noah better (to be fair though, I am so sick of his floating head on the TV encouraging me to gamble with mockney geezerisms that I wasn't keen to be stuck with him again here).
Noah is not an awful film mainly because it is basically lots of fragments of better films put together. So the spectacle is good at times but never goes for it, while the character piece is hinted at but not given over to in a way that really works. Everyone plays it down the middle of these and there is not too much of interest beyond the moment which is a shame for a film so long and filled with such talent.
When putting on Noah I had heard a lot of negativity about this movie. I do not know if it is Christians not supporting this adaptation, or if it is atheists thinking it is way to much Christian propaganda. I am a atheist, and I like good stories on the screen. What I liked about this movie was that feeling of adventure the likes of LOTR and Star Wars, a movie adaptation of a biblical story that is up there with other science fiction and adventure films. It didn't make the story about Noah more plausible, but it was a great story, set in timeless environments. I have read the genesis story even though I'm not a Christian, and in my opinion this adaptation is quite accurate and true to the biblical story, with some tweaking here and there. A little gnostic view points here and there, but all in all something fresh made from a old and boring book, made a little bit more interesting. Have an open mind, and don't watch it with an preconceived notion. Watch it like you would with any other story made for the screen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie absolutely stunning. Beautiful cinematography,
outstanding acting, and astounding special effects.
Of course, there are a few things that fellow believers need to be aware of. The movie, 'Noah', is not told from an ultra-conservative point of view. There are multiple parts that can clash with your own beliefs. When creation is explained in the movie, it is portrayed in the fashion that God, or The Creator as He is referred to throughout the movie, used the Big Bang as His tool for the creation of the universe, and evolution for His creation of animals and of Man. Although I do not personally believe that is how He created everything, the movie tells creation beautifully and with God as the Creator, therefore I do not find it offensive.
One piece of information that will be helpful when seeing this movie is the background and origin of the Watchers. The Watchers are originally mentioned in the Book of Enoch, an ancient non-canonical book of the Jewish religion. The Watchers are, as stated in the movie, fallen angels, but after that, the production team took their creative license. Since it is in neither the Jewish Tanakh nor the Christian Bible, most viewers will think that the producers simply made up the Watchers.
Also, there are many gruesome and gut-wrenching scenes, for this movie reveals just how corrupt Mankind had become. There is no happy parade of animals arriving two-by-two, and Noah is not a happy old man with a long flowing beard In this film, Noah tries to follow exactly what the Creator commanded of him, taking himself past his breaking point. In this film, Mankind is scrambling for survival, taking what it wants and not caring for anyone else. In this film, the story of Noah is portrayed realistically.
I implore you to go see this movie, but you must watch it with an open mind.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What an utter waste of time.
I am by no means a die hard advocate of direct adaptation of a book to the screen. So I entered the cinema expecting an enjoyable movie with solid cinematography, great storyline and good acting - to be expected with the director. Boy was I mistaken - granted the movie is extremely far fetched (next to no authenticity in relation to the book of the bible), what killed it for me was the serious inconsistencies with the character profiling, poor storyline and execution that made me want to leave the cinema midway. For example - Noah is portrayed as an earth loving greenie, protecting plants and life - point understood, but he easily kills people to protect another life? Further, later in the story he is battling internal turmoil as they hear the screams of the people of the earth? If his resolve lead him to kill humans without hesitation, why is his suddenly so challenged?
There was no clear cut message, no point to the movie and it seemed to drag on. If the director intended to slide off in a tangent, at least make it exciting to watch. Let me save you the waste of time and advise against watching it. Save your precious pennies and watching some worth your time.
Just watched this on Pay-Per-View having missed a chance to see in
theaters (dithered over whether or not to see it due to wildly mixed
reviews). It was visually engaging enough to keep me watching till the
end but as the credits began to roll, I found myself feeling
Some of the scenery and shots featuring animals were really cool, I found myself wishing for more (that is, more time spent on animals...and a closer look at different species as imagined by the creators of this film).
Ray Winstone is a distinguished actor but I found his portrayal at times creepy, at times laughable, overall weak (how much of this was due to direction and/or other factors...not sure, when it comes to this film I didn't get a sense either way). Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly impressed me, I got a sense of quiet strength from their characters.
Russell Crowe, also one of my favorite actors (I thought his Robin Hood was masterful, a fresh new take), disappointed. Without giving anything away, there were some parts of this film that called for a more dramatic narrative...his timing and (at times) rushed speech took away from the grandeur of what was meant to be an epic film. You find yourself wishing he would deliver certain lines a bit more theatrically, like David Wenham in 300 or one of the greats of classic film (Charlton Heston, perhaps).
I didn't realize when I started watching that Anthony Hopkins was also in the film. When he popped up on screen I laughed and thought: 'Of course...can't make an epic film without Anthony Hopkins!' Probably just me but it seemed a bit tired as far as casting goes.
I might have enjoyed it more on the big screen but don't regret watching at home on my TV. Bottom line, entertaining enough to watch...just a bit of a let-down.
Judging from the hate Noah has gotten on here I was expecting very
little. Actually Noah was nowhere near as bad as heard, and while very
flawed and by far the worst film of Darren Aronofsky(with his others
ranging from very good to outstanding) it did have some impressive
things. On the most part the film is brilliant visually, the barren
apocalyptic landscapes and later more colourful ones were really
striking and the cinematography has a sweeping yet somewhat
surrealistic effect. The opening and creation sequences were
beautifully done with the latter quite harrowing without being too
heavy-handed, and the flood scene was intense and jaw-dropping in
spectacle. Noah's dreams had a real creepiness too. Clint Mansell's
music score swells thrillingly and has an epic sweep, enhancing crucial
scenes and not drowning stuff out. The sound is thrilling in its
authenticity too. There are some good performances, the best of which
coming from Russell Crowe, who plays with real steel and a powerful
charisma. Jennifer Connelly is a sympathetic and touching wife and
mother figure, and has a scene in the last act that really does hit
home and is not over-the-top. Some have disliked Emma Watson's
performance but for me she brought genuine heart to a role that was
more of a plot-device up until the last act, at that point she becomes
the character you relate to the most. Anthony Hopkins does not have
much to do but he is gleefully enjoyable in his role of Methusalah.
Noah did personally fall very short though, and actually the little relation to the Bible no matter how people carp on about it is the least of its problems. Douglas Booth is rather bland and too pretty-boy-model-like while Logan Lerman came across as wooden and forced, Ham could easily have been the character we related to but for that to happen I think the film could have expanded much more on his character arc and situation. Ray Winstone is the most disappointing, he's done some great performances but this is not one of them, he is saddled with a very clichéd villain role that has no development to him and he overdoes it in a way that feels straight out of another film entirely. The characters generally are underdeveloped, especially the villain and Ham's subplot had potential to be expanded much more but Ila's character has a lot of heart and effort is made to humanise Noah although some of his decision making comes across as rather sudden.
The special effects are a mixed bag, the flood effects are outstanding and the built-to-scale ark also looks incredible, both of which with much grandeur. But the Rock Monsters(or the Watchers) have a dated look, are written in a way that feels irrelevant to the story or in a way that doesn't gel with everything else going on and slightly like Transformers clones, and some of the animals(notably the snakes) look like computerised toys that don't blend within the scenery very well. The dialogue does often feel stilted and confused, especially in the first act, while taking an overwrought if well-intentioned turn in the last and coming across as a little heavy-handed in places. The story does have a number of bright spots and contains some powerful messaging, but does drag a fair bit and has some stuff that felt like filler, the film easily could have been half-an-hour shorter. The story is also a bit of a weird one, and one that leaves more questions than answers, in a sense that it does feel like it doesn't quite know what it wants to be, there's some sci-fi, some action-epic and some character-driven study(which takes up the last act), all three of which with uneven results. The ending is for my liking a bit too convenient as well. Aronofsky's direction is broad and is at home with the style of the film and the spectacle but he fails to make the story properly engage(which is unusual for Aronofsky). Overall, ambitious but uneven. Noah is nowhere near as bad as a lot of the negative reviews have said and the stick it gets for not being close to the Bible is on the unfair side- in all fairness though Noah was advertised in a way that was suggestive that it was an adaptation of the biblical story when really it is the bare bones- but it does have a lot of flaws and could have been better considering how much talent was on board. 5/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Darren Aronofsky's Noah is a Biblical epic that definitely does not
live up to its potential; nor is it worthy of the talents of its
director. I came into the movie with what I thought were realistic
expectations: mainly that it would divert from its source material,
which I am quite familiar with. I also realized that this is
Aronofsky's first real epic film, as all of his previous work is fairly
minimalist, with relatively few characters and settings. I knew,
however, that he is a creative artist, and I expected to see an
interesting visual interpretation of this classic tale. It is safe to
say that my expectations were not met and that I was fairly
The problems with the movie are myriad but the main issue I would point out is the inconsistency and incoherence of the characters and overall philosophy of the film. The most troubling of these to me was the supposed moral delineation between the villain Tubal Cain (Ray Winston) and his people and Noah (Russell Crowe) and his family. The main evil that the villains seem to display is declaring an ownership over creation and a disregard for the environment, contrasted with Noah's veganism and care for the Earth. However, I found this fairly unconvincing because of Noah's seemingly blatant disregard for human life, as right off the bat he is seen killing some hunters when they try to kill a weird looking scaled deer (on a side note, this creature did not seem to fit in, as it was the only fantastical looking animal that you really see, even the serpent Satan looks like a normal snake) without thinking twice and with no apparent guilt. He also kills many other innocent people when they try to get on the ark. This does not seem consistent with the back story of Cain given at the beginning of the movie, as his sin was violence and murder. This confuses the audience because it is not clear why Noah's family should live while the rest of the world should die. Perhaps this is the director's point though I have a hard time believing that. In contrast, this differentiation is quite clear in the Biblical narrative, as Noah and his family are saved because of their faith in God and their obedience to Him while the rest of humanity have rejected Him and because of their complete moral depravity. I think this is a vital part of the story that should not have been tampered with. In a similar vein, the issue of Noah interpreting God's commands to mean that all of humankind must die was very thorny for me. I understand the director wanted to weave the story of Abraham and Isaac into the movie but this definitely fell flat. There were simply too many inconsistencies with this plot element. Principally, why wouldn't Noah simply just close the ark and force his family to be subjected to and die in the flood like everyone else since all of the animals were already safe and sound inside? This would have saved him the heartache. Also, there is no evidence that Noah's wife is barren (she looks fairly middle aged throughout) so it would be seems possible for humanity to be continued through her with one of her sons presumably as the father. Gross, but so is an uncle and niece having children. Again the Biblical narrative does not have this problem, as Noah's sons already have families of their own when the flood comes. Finally Noah's ultimate decision to spare his grandchildren, coupled with the revelation that God gave him the choice whether humanity continued or died out, struck me as strange, anticlimactic and inconsistent, while also straying from the Abraham and Isaac story.
There were many other smaller inconsistencies throughout the film. First off, the snake skin which signifies birth right is never really explained fully. Why would people value the skin of the snake that was instrumental in them losing Eden? Also, the glowing rocks were not explained at all and seemed very unnecessary. I was also frustrated with the depiction of the fallen angels, as was pretty much everyone else who saw the movie. They seemed very out of place and were probably one of the more offensive elements of the movie for believers, as fallen angels in the Bible are known as demons and shouldn't be helping the hero. I also noticed that they looked almost like Claymation or stop motion so they were very frustrating to look at. This must have been purposeful, but I have no idea why. Lastly, I found the overall philosophy of the movie inconsistent. Having seen Aronovsky's The Fountain was fairly helpful here since there are many similarities, mainly the idea of reincarnation, man being in control of his own destiny, and the character of the last/first man. Also the seed of the tree of life in The Fountain looked the same as the seed of Noah's Ark which suggests they symbolize the same catalyst of reincarnation. However, these themes, mainly the interesting combination of pantheism and humanism did not seem to work with the basic story, God destroying the world and continuing mankind through Noah. Principally, if Noah controls man's destiny, then why bring God into it at all, especially as it seems nature is the supreme entity. Also, having an all-powerful deity who created the universe seems inconsistent with the suggested cyclicality of destruction and creation. There were a few positives however. Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet deliver with the music as always (caveat: was I the only one who was weirded out by the Patti Smith number during the credits), and I enjoyed the cast and their acting. The visuals were decent but by no means revolutionary and the sound was great. In conclusion, I would suggest skipping this one, especially if you follow an Abrahamic Religion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well I'm an atheist... but this movie made me pray on my knees to God
to please stop my suffering and make me blind.
So Noah has visions, pretty short ones in my opinion and suddenly he know's what's going to happen?
Movie makers tried to add elements to the movie to add action, drama, romance, etc. Only to make a really crappy plot.
So Noah had an paranoid schizophrenia episode he must have been snorting "crocodile". ABSURD and then he goes sweet to the bottle?
Please don't waste your life or money on this movie.
Not even Emma Watson can save you from fleeing the theater.
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