Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Noah (2014) - ★★★

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins, Douglas Booth

I look back on Noah with fondness. It's hard to explain why, but I feel nothing but warmth towards this film after having seen it. Noah is far from a perfect film. It had an absolutely stellar first half, and an absolutely shit second half. They almost balance each other out, but I'd say the greatness we witnessed in the first half saved the film from being a bad movie. I don't know what people are talking about when they call this an 'epic.' Let me clarify... I don't think this is an epic film. The special effects and story itself is grand, that's for sure. However, the small cast and medium length running time just puts it into the category of 'big budget production.' Never the less, it was an entertaining film for the most part. There are things in it that are forgettable, and there are things that are absolutely unforgettable.


For those of us who were raised within Christianity, or know of the stories within the Bible, Noah is one of the most unbelievable, yet entertaining tales ever told. Darren Aronofsky and Ari Mandel chopped and re-shaped the story to make it into a longer film though. The film's version tells of a man named Noah (Russell Crowe), who receives a vision from God that the world will be cleansed by a gigantic flood. He then starts on the gruelling task of creating an ark to save two of each animal, so that life may start again once the destruction is over. 

A different perspective on what a 'fallen angel' looks like.
I enjoyed some of the changes this film brought to the story, but for the most part, they were absolute crap. One of the things I loved most about Noah was their telling of the fallen angels. I don't remember there being anything about them in the story, but I could be wrong. In this film, they are gigantic rock monsters, and they come to help Noah build his ark. It was an epic twist on the classic tale. It took away from the very little realism there was in the film, however, it added a new dimension of entertainment and emotion that I truly enjoyed. 


What I HATE HATE HATED about this film was the utter rubbish that consumed the second half of the feature. Once all of the epic ark building was over, and the gigantic flood devoured the world, it all just fell to pieces. They wrote sub-plots that were so ridiculous, I just wanted to pull my hair out. These extra story-lines just didn't come close to the quality of the original story, and quite frankly, looked completely stupid. I even asked my friend if we could go... it was just that bad. 

All was not lost, for there was much greatness to be had in the first half of the film. The special effects were great, especially during the battle between the sinful humans and the fallen angels (sounds crazy, I know). It had a Lord of the Rings kind of feel to it. The score by Clint Mansell was divine, and could very well be an Oscar contender at the upcoming Academy Awards. They chose a pretty good cast to play out these characters... and the sequences where the animals gathered into the ark, were simply unforgettable.


Russell Crowe suited the role of Noah to a tee. Since Charlton Heston is no longer around to play these roles, it seems fitting that they had Crowe play the part. He brought strength and conviction to the role, and did nothing but uplift the film. It was nice to see him paired up with Jennifer Connelly again. They had great chemistry, and she was brilliant whenever she had to act like a normal person, and not throw in a lot of melodrama. Emma Watson surprised me, because I thought she would be almost completely terrible. She did well in the film... nothing great, but she certainly wasn't bad. Ray Winstone played a brilliant villain too. Above all, it was nice to see Anthony Hopkins play Methuselah, because his wisdom in acting made him such a believable character. 

So should you pay money to see Noah on the big screen? The answer is no. I would definitely pay big money to see the first half on the big screen... if only the second half was up to that great standard. There are some stunningly beautiful scenes in this film, and really thrilling sequences that entertained the hell out of me. It even had me emotional at one point. It was a very well made film, that just lost its way because the writers didn't know what to put at the end of the story. It's a movie that you should watch at least once. 


10 comments:

  1. Good review, I tend to agree. That ending was just weird...

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thought so.

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  2. Good review. Haven't seen this movie myself, though I'm not particularly sure about watching it considering the rather mixed bag of thoughts I've been hearing about it.

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    1. I think it's worth watching once, just to see how you feel :) Thanks Jaime.

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  3. I watched the movie... I agree fully: The first half was way better than the second. (I do not mean to be religious but...) in the stories that I hear (I was not raised by Christianity, although I have heard many stories from the bible), I have heard that Noah was one of the kindest men ever... and about him wanting to kill those 2 babies... I was really sad they put that scene and that it had to be in the movie... :l

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    1. That's exactly what I thought too. It really didn't have to be in the film. The sub-plots that plagued the second half of the film should have just been left in the cutting room completely.

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