Film: Noah
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky
Written By: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel

The human race has always tried to find meaning for their lives. Having a great creator is a comforting thought. Of course there is someone in the skies that put us on this planet, there is no way we are just a random arrangement of molecules that just so happened to create beings capable of self awareness. That thought has been the source of religion all through the ages. Whether it be the old Egyptian gods like Ra, the Norse warrior gods like Thor, or the Greek gods and demigods like Hercules. Another thing all of these religions have in common is the fact that now they are the inspiration for entertainment like music and movies. Now you can add the Christian mythology to that list because Noah is out and follows the biblical text about as closely as Thor follows the epic Norse poems of old. Is it blasphemy or is it just a fun movie made for entertainment? For me it is the latter and it is quite entertaining.

You probably have heard the story of Noah before. There is a guy, builds a big boat, some animals get on it, flood, new world, the end. Well Noah is sort of like that story, but if your writer friend who took some psychedelic mushrooms retold it right at the peak of his trip. Noah can and does fight. Angels are giant rock creatures that most of the world fears. The animals are not quite the animals we know today (there are some deer that look like armadillos). Methuselah used to fight the descendants of Cain with a magic fire sword and is now Noah’s grandfather. All the things you know are there…just made massively exciting and magical.

The best thing Noah has going for it is its cast. Russell Crowe is great (as always) but the real standouts here are Jennifer Connelly and (surprisingly) Emma Watson. Both ladies are extremely convincing, especially when they have breakdowns in the third act. At a time when the movie was starting to drag these women deliver memorable performances that would not be out of place in an Academy Award winning movie. Oh, and Anthony Hopkins is a delightful old man who comes across as loving and sweet, brightening up the few scenes he is in that would have been boring with a lesser actor.

Darren Aronofsky manages to take a somewhat played-out story that everyone knows and recreates it as a fantasy/action/drama like nothing you have seen before. His expert directorial skills propel this film from a mediocre mythology movie to something you are going to be talking about for days. There is a reason this man has been up for an Oscar before and he does not let you forget it here.

Unfortunately, Noah is not without its flaws. At times, the movie drags. It’s hard to make being stuck in an ark for months interesting. Some people may get turned off by how violent and graphic the film is at times (I personally thought it added an extra bit of realism) and you will always have folks complaining about how it is not true to the Bible.

All in all, Noah is a solid movie. It has action, adventure, fantasy, and plenty of drama all mixed in perfect balance. It may be a story you think you know, but this film is so much more than the source material it was inspired by. Leave your Bibles at home, Noah is a story completely in its own world and it is definitely worth watching.

Score: B

Review written by: Justin Proper

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