Noah is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.Noah is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.Noah is chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.
Russell Crowe makes a fine Noah. He is relentless in his quest to fulfill The Creator's request ... and he flashes his "Gladiator" glare on a few occasions. Rather than an uplifting childhood bedtime story, this Noah carries the burden of God, his own family and the survival of all beings ... his days are filled with moral dilemmas much larger than what you and I go through.
With all the miscommunication afforded by email and text these days, imagine if God conversed with you through images in your dreams. Maybe that process creates some areas of gray? Not if you are Noah. I guess he only dreams when God wants to show him something, so his decision making and mission is pretty focused. He is to build a giant floating warehouse to save two of every creature. Yes, that means a lot of death for those not invited. See, God is using Noah and his family to help cleanse the earth of mankind ... God is ready for a re-boot. He is really not happy with how mean and nasty man has become ever since that whole apple debacle and the murder of Abel by Cain.
Some of the visual effects are spectacular. I especially enjoyed the high-speed montage showing the creation of life ... you know that first week. Also, the beginning of the flood is quite a spectacle, but the ark itself is actually quite stunning ... constructed per the size noted in the Bible. The animals are all digitally created and we actually see little of them, though the on-boarding process goes remarkably smooth - considering this happens before the herbal sleep concoction is disbursed.
Most of the discussion will probably be on The Watchers ... the fallen angels who once tried to help mankind, and for their efforts, God turned them into giant stone creatures. I will add that The Watchers need a new nickname since they did the bulk of the manual labor in constructing the arc and then protecting it ... not much watching going on for these poor guys (voiced by Nick Nolte and Frank Langella, among others).
Noah's wife is played by Jennifer Connelly and their sons are played by Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Leo McHugh Carroll. They welcome Emma Watson into their family in what turns into a very odd plot twist, and the villain, Tubal-Cain is payed by Ray Winstone. Methuselah, Noah's grandfather, is played to the hilt by Anthony Hopkins. All of these characters are pretty one dimensional, but this is Noah's story. The burden he carries is quite heavy and his decisions aren't always popular.
If you are looking for the well documented story of Noah, it's no mystery what book you should be reading. If you are after a pretty impressive visual interpretation, you could certainly do worse than Aronofsky's take. And the best news ... no Morgan Freeman voice-over!
- Mar 30, 2014