I am not a Bible thumper, but I would like to take a Bible and thump someone on the head with it--namely those who wrote this script. 'Noah" is an imagining of the biblical story (not a reimagining because the Bible really doesn't have much to say about the flood story that people really want to know--he mechanics of it).
My goal was to go into the theater considering this film to be separate work from the book (as I do with all films). If you pretend you know nothing of the original text, I am afraid this story does not stand well on its own.
First of all, you would expect that Noah would be the hero of the story. Actually, he was about the least likable character in the film.
Noah is a man who has what he takes to be revelatory dreams. Through them, he predicts future happenings and modifies his life accordingly. But he is a very bad "prophet", because he never seems sure he understood the messages. The most dramatic part of the film is when he tries to understand what the creator's intentions are for the race of man. He thinks he knows, and he makes bombastic speeches about it, but he obviously is not sure. Still, he acts on his best suspicions--or intends to act. When it comes down to it, he wavers. And a teenage girl has to explain to him the basics of free will.
If you were hoping for some interesting explanations about the mechanics of the ark and how all those animals were saved, you will be disappointed. The explanation we get is like saying that Santa Claus manages to visit all the homes around the world in an impossibly short time because he has magic reindeer. In the story, Noah has helpers that are no less magical. And the depiction of every species of animal that crawls, walks or flies (since this story does not consider evolution, none of the species could have evolved after the flood) is very lame. I don't know what I expected, but it was something more realistic.
I found the acting to be fine. The most enjoyable aspect of the film for me was Emma Watson's performance.
The special effects were okay. But not enough to make me forget the deficiencies in the story.
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