Dir. Darren Aronofsky
Reviewed by Matt ‘Biblically sound’ Adcock
Read the newspaper version of my review at Bedfordshire Times & Citizen
“Fire consumes all, water cleanses…”
Stand by to have your Sunday School recollections of Noah blown apart as Russell Crowe brings the man of unswerving, world-saving faith to the big screen in a life changing epic biblical drama.
Based on the imaginative graphic novel rather than the original bible passage, Noah is ‘Gladiator’ for the Church - an inspirational story of courage, sacrifice and hope that delivers huge spectacle with a beating heart of love and hard won redemption.
Dark and dangerous, violent and powerful, visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky retells the Old Testament tale with incredible visuals, a triple A list cast and a wider dimension of the entire fall and salvation greater narrative that is core to the Bible itself.
"Stunning visuals set this movie apart"
If you’re coming to Noah without much clue about the plot – it’s that God or ‘The Creator’ is angry and intends to wipe us all out because we’ve corrupted the world and turned to against Him. So a great flood is to be sent that will remove all life from the planet – and only Noah (Crowe) is tipped off in a dream that he’s been picked with his family to build an ark, gather two of every living animal species and start anew after the waters have receded.
Into this ark-pocalypse Aronofsky introduces his wild card extrapolation of angels (fallen ones) who have been condemned to walk the earth covered in rocks so they look like 12 foot rock golems whose heavenly fire can only be glimpsed through their eyes. These creatures – called ‘Watchers’ here are superb creations – half transformer, half giant – very handy to have around if you can befriend them when you need to build a huge ark / defend it against an angry army of sinners – led with vigour by Tubal-Cain (Ray ‘Bet 365’ Winstone).
"Raiders of the lost ark?"
Crowe is excellent in the tricky lead role - portraying Noah as a driven man, who harbours darkness in his heart despite being chosen by The Creator to save mankind. There are moments where Noah's sanity is questioned, yet he finds that God can work through flawed people - and that is a key message you can't help by take away from the film.
Jennifer Connelly is good as his wife, Anthony Hopkins is quality as Noah's grandfather Methuselah and there's Emma 'Harry Potter' Watson on hand as adopted daughter Ila.
The plot is broken up in to movements - the scene setting, the unexpected climatic battle in the middle (which will please Lord of the Rings fans as the Watchers fight hundreds of warriors) and then the intense dark drama of life on the ark itself before the finale.
"ready for the English summertime!"
The film making team have created a stunning piece of cinema - which is accessible to all and thought provoking enough to make people want to check the original text in Genesis. Those wanting to go deeper with the material can access some excellent community resources produced by Damaris Media - which are well worth a look as Noah - whilst angering some fundamental Christians who object to the artistic interpretation - is rich source of thinking about the Bible.
Noah is a gritty adaptation and a fascinating ‘what if’ wrath-of-God-em-up that shows how the Bible can inspire cinematic creativity and art that whilst not a literal ‘by the book’ retelling, becomes something challenging and wonderful in its own right.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Biblical event movie delivers... more than you can imagine)
Awesomeness öööö – streams runneth over with biblical awesomeness
Laughs öö – darkly humourous in places
Horror ööö – gets a bit nasty, due to darker tone
Babes ööö – Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson!?
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - B E L I E V E?
Recommended Hashtag: #NeedABiggerBoat #Don'tLikeTheMovie-TryTheBook!
See me speaking about the film alongside various Christian Leaders...
More biblical thinking? Try the Twitter Gospels
"Emma Watson gets wet with Douglas Booth"