Well color me surprised, this movie is not a flaming pile of shit that I expected it to be. From time to time I like to indulge in the mass produced dreck that comes out of Hollywood now days. It is because of this that I watch movies like “I Frankenstein” and will eventually be watching Dwayne “the ROCK!” Johnson in his smash hit “Hercules”. Needless to say, going into “Noah” I expected that same level of garbage.
But despite how badly the whole idea of this movie wants to be filth it manages to pull itself up by it’s bootstraps and be a resounding “meh”. The three leading actors, Russel Crowe, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly actually manage to bring the brunt of their respectable acting chops to the forefront of this film. The script, while lacking, is delivered with care and an effort that is normally forgotten in films like this, bringing something more exciting and tangible to the action. In fact I can say with some confidence that with some minor tweaking to the story this could have even been good.
The film follows the story of Noah trying to build an ark to… who am I kidding we all know this story, including the giant rock golems powered by angels, the army of sinners that comes to try and force their way onto the boat and the eventual climactic battle between the descendant of Cain (played by Ray Winstone) and Noah. So, maybe this script takes a few liberties with the bible version of Noah which in my opinion only makes it better. It essentially becomes a metaphor about the battle between rampant industrialism and returning to nature. While I could go on and on about the poor graphics and ham fisted attempts at morality this metaphor really is the crux of my problems with this movie. The “bad guy” in the film, the descendant of Cain, represents the nature of man to consume, expand and take from nature. This is represented as nothing but evil throughout the movie while Noah’s side is represented as almost nothing but good. And here lies my problem, the film refuses to acknowledge the fact that Noah himself used a form of industry to build the ark, clear cutting a section of the forest given to him by the creator. Cain wants to provide for his people and demands that he be given the right to live as long as he can fight for it. Can such a concept really be considered evil, can the idea of never wanting to give up and just accept death be considered an unjust desire?
If I keep talking about this for too long it will just become a gripe session about my problems with religion in general so I will leave it with the statement that my reasons for disliking this film are the inverse of the reasons I love “Interstellar”. “Interstellar” posits that mankind will always be able to intuit our way out of danger, even the dangers that we in our ignorance and hubris have created. “Noah” posits that the only way for man to be good is to never learn to grow ourselves, only learning to care for ourselves and maybe our immediate family. There is still plenty of other things to dislike about this movie, and plenty of things to nitpick (where did they get the leather for the huts they built after landing the ark? How did the animals not need to eat just because they were sleeping on the ark? What did the carnivores eat after landing the ark? Etc… etc..) but even with these the movie probably ends up around a 5/10. But with my bias against its message, that it cant keep hitting you over the head with, I am only going to give it a 4/10
Available on Amazon Prime video.