I may be in the minority here, but I’ve never been one to “go with the in crowd,” so… here it goes.
Hands down, Noah is the worst movie I’ve seen all year. And I’m talking in the last twelve months, not just in 2014.
If you want to see the story set in the industrialized Middle Ages where Broody McBroody Pants enlisted the aid of Rock Giants to save the planet from the wicked polluting ways of humans while plotting his own version of Jim Jones to ensure that man does not survive, including his own family, Noah is the movie for you. If you thought would were going to see a movie about Noah from the Bible, don’t bother; this movie completely jumps the shark. It’s not that I expected Noah to conform exactly to the story from Old Testament, but I did expect it to recognize that it was the story of Noah and the ark. Even a little bit.
Now before you continue on with this review, I will say upfront: While I am religious, I’m not one of those people who gets their panties in a bunch every time someone pokes fun at religion. And when it comes to entertainment I don’t go to a lot of religious movies nor do I read a read religious books. Why? Because when I’m looking for entertainment, I want to be entertained, not preached to. I don’t like preachiness. And that’s not limited to religion. If you want to preach politics, the environment, gay vs straight, whatever it is… take it somewhere else. If I’m going to a movie, I want to be entertained. If I want to be preached to, all I have to do is turn on the radio, television, or go to church. And I do all three on a regular basis. So why did I go see a movie about Noah? Because it looked good. I also went in expecting it would follow the story of Noah and that there would be religion.
So what did Noah deliver? (Spoiler Alert) From almost the beginning, the heavy-handed environmental lean was apparent. Man has killed mother earth, therefore “The Creator” will kill them all. A movie that I expected to be on the preachy side of religion was full-steam-ahead preachy on the environment. And did you notice that God is referred as “The Creator”? By renaming God as “The Creator,” Darren Aronofsky removes God from the movie. I guess that makes sense when you hire an atheist to direct a story from a religious text. Aronofsky even tackled the story of the creation and filled it full of evolution. It stopped just short of showing man evolving from monkeys. And while I don’t begrudge those who don’t believe in God, I often wonder why there’s such a need to spit upon and belittle everything religious? So you don’t like religion. Fine by me. But why all the mean-spirited attacks—the need to cut down anything religious for amusement? This movie willingly distorts the original tale so that the only thing it has in common with the original is the big boat and the flood.
On top of all this, the movie is also anti-war, which is ironic when you consider how many people died at the hands of Noah in this movie. Which makes me suspect that the underlying message here is that religion is responsible for war. King Tubal-Cain’s internal conflicting need to be ruler of the earth and be free of The Creator’s will, while secretly wanting The Creator to speak to him is at the core of much of the violence he incites in his followers.
Even weirder is that Noah believes that he and his family are to die off, thus ending man’s reign on the earth. Noah is even hell-bent on making sure man does not survive because the only innocents on the earth are the animals they are rescuing. Noah even goes so far as proclaiming to The Creator that he will kill his own grandchildren in a very Abraham-esque moment. Aronofsky took great liberties with the story of Noah. He even subjected us to his version of what happens for nine months on the ark… as mutiny grows with contrived drama. How Ham is able to hide the evil King Tubal-Cain on the ark for nine long months is a mystery. And why no one notices that he’s eating the animals is an even greater mystery. And the biggest mystery of all is… why aren’t Noah’s sons already grown and married when the ark sets sail rather than the incestuous slant the movie takes in the end? Noah’s sons being married is clearly part of the original tale in the Bible. Everyone who went into the ark went in two-by-two, both male and female, including Noah and his family.
This movie had little to do with the story of Noah from the Bible: from the rock giants aka fallen angels who are responsible for the industrialization of mankind to Noah living as a wino in a van down by the river… er… in a cave down by the beach. Why call it Noah at all? Why not rename it Two Girls, Five Guys and a Boat or better yet, Flowers in the Attic: The Early Years?
You know a movie is bad when the entire theater sits in stunned silence as the credits roll. No one spoke, no one moved. Everyone sat in their seats, mouths agape in horror. When people did finally move, it was as if everyone moved in a slow stupor. No one spoke. My guess they were all cursing the loss of the money for the tickets and the two and a half hours of their lives forever wasted. I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and asked in a loud voice… “Did anyone think that was as stupid as I thought it was?”
This is the first Aronofsky movie I’ve ever seen, and I dare say, the last. I, for one, will not be applauding his attempt to “revitalize” the biblical genre. My only advice to you is, don’t drink Jim Jones… er… Aronofsky’s Kool-Aid. Noah should have gone down with the ark.