Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Ray Winston, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins
I have never written a really scathing review but this film is so excruciatingly, undeniably and unequivocally awful I was compelled to do so. In my humble opinion it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
First and foremost if you are going to make a movie based on one of the best known Bible stories presumably you would stick fairly closely to the source material.
It’s a short story. God speaks to Noah who is apparently the only good man in a world gone bad and tells him to build an ark as he is going to destroy the world by flooding. In the ark he will gather two of every animal that walks flies or slithers. Noah is joined in this task by his wife, three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth and their unnamed wives.
It rains for 40 days and 40 nights. The ark ends up on Mount Ararat; the animals are released into a new world which will be repopulated by the offspring of Noah’s sons and their wives. In a nutshell that’s about it. Pretty simple stuff?
Not according to the Darren Aronofsky who directs and co-writes this abysmal mess. The shame is that I really respect most of his previous work and Black Swan thoroughly deserved its multiple awards and commercial success.
In his version Russell Crowe as Noah is some kind of eco-warrior who wanders around either going full on Maximus or ranting like that bloke who is always in a shopping mall wearing a sandwich board with bible quotes on it.
Only Japheth has a partner and she starts off barren but ends up producing twin girls! Ham gets the “arseache” ‘cos his Dad won’t let him keep the “wife” he meets for about five minutes and Shem is about eleven years old. Don’t bother working out how they re-populated the Earth it would be nigh on impossible.
Building the ark is made a whole lot easier as they are helped by the “Watchers” who apparently are fallen angels but as they misbehaved the Creator turned them into giant rock monsters that wouldn’t look out of place in the Transformer movie.
Throw into the mix Anthony Hopkins as grand-dad Methuselah who creates a forest out of a magic bean, Ray Winstone doing his ever popular “tasty geezer” as Tubal-cain the mighty warrior baddie who-I can’t believe I’m writing this- stows away on the ark.
The script strays so far away from the original story it might as well have been called “Geoff”!
The acting without exception is atrocious but that is probably due to a dire script and as for plot holes, don’t start me talking, they are more like plot chasms. One of the abiding images is of a knife stuck in the ground toward the end of the movie. It is perfectly serrated and looks like it was bought ten minutes earlier from the nearest camping superstore.
If you want to teach the kids a bit of bible study…this is not the movie. If you want great acting and story…this is not the movie. If you want amazing special effects…this is not the movie. Avoid at all costs.
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