Movie Review: Noah

Despite great acting, “Noah” is unfortunately drowning in tone problems. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, “Noah” stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson.

“Noah” faced rough seas from the beginning, with Sony testing three versions of the film to early audiences unbeknownst to Aronofsky, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Since then, “Noah” has faced controversies from the religiously devout for the movie’s interpretation of the events from the Book of Genesis.

Often, the source material and adaptation of books to movies are two completely different arts. Adaptations have the ability to tell the same story with a different approach, look at characters with a fresh perspective and bring new elements of the story to light.

This is Aronofsky’s adaptation of the story of Noah and his ark. He certainly took all the creative liberties he wanted to (such as talking rock monsters). So if you can go into the movie ready to hang up your suspension of disbelief, you’ll probably have a good time, or at least, a better time.

Crowe plays a very compelling portrayal of Noah. Noah, in this movie, is a complex character and, at times, easy to root against. He is strong, soft-spoken, broken, disciplined, God-obeying and terrifying.

Supporting players do a fine job as well. Watson gives her all and Connelly plays Noah’s wife with gentleness and grace.

Another stand out is Logan Lerman, who had the potential to be a sore thumb in the company of great actors like Crowe, Connelly and Hopkins. Some may remember Lerman from his portrayal of Charlie in yet another adaptation, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”.

He brings some of that same charm and naïveté, playing Noah’s youngest son Ham. The entire principal cast is giving it their all, and it’s fun to watch each of them dive into their roles.

Visually, a few moments in “Noah”  stand out among the rest. The flashback scenes of the Earth being created are particularly cool to look at.

There are some beautiful landscape shots as well. However, the CGI ark animals are nothing groundbreaking, the battle scenes have been done better in other movies and the talking rock monsters border on extreme cheesiness.

Aronofsky is known for making original, darker films such as “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream,” so it is disappointing to see him play it safe here. His performance as “Noah” lacks his usual innovative edge.

With that aside, I can look at “Noah” strictly as a popcorn action movie, a movie made to entertain and engage an audience. However, it fails on this front as well.

“Noah” feels like two separate movies, each with its own tonal problems. The first half is an epic battle flick with tensions between Noah and his family, and literally everyone else in the world. The second is a battle between Noah and his pseudo-adopted daughter and her unborn child(ren).

It is in the latter half I can see glimpses of the groundbreaking version of what this movie could have been, with some seriously tense and disturbing moments. Meanwhile, in the first half, I can see the potential mainstream blockbuster “Noah” could have been.

Since the film doesn’t fully commit to either side, both halves are a bit of a disappointment.

 

Mikayla Nicholson Staff Writer

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