The day had finally arrived. I sat in my comfy seat, by myself, to watch the most anticipated movie I had wanted to see this year, Noah.
It had been almost two months of defending the movie to my Christian friends who just didn’t like that the movie didn’t portray Noah as they had learned about growing up in Sunday School. They didn’t like the fact that the director wasn’t a Christian and that he was adding things to the story. I tried to convince my friends that a big budget bible story could only do good for the cause of future blockbuster Christian film.
None of my friends wanted to go with me to see it, even my dad was disappointed in seeing a Bible character misrepresented. ‘But dad,’ I pleaded, ‘You can still see the flood in action, animals in the ark, and great acting by great actors.’
To my friends I would try and convince them to draw the good out of the movie rather than focusing on the bad. I even asked one friend, ‘would you like to see this movie fail in the box office?’ To another friend I asked, ‘who do you think inspired the movie, God or Satan?’
I defended the idea that a non Christian filmmaker could take a story from the Bible and make a film. And why were my Christian friends supporting the movie Son of God? There were many little changes that showed Jesus as more man than God but that didn’t bother them.
As I sat in my seat before the movie started I took a deep breath, finally, the movie I’ve been waiting for would begin. I was prepared for everything.
Well, I thought I was prepared for everything.
I wasn’t prepared for the move to actually suck. Yes, you read right. Suck. Like as bad as a song called Party, Party, Party, it was THAT bad. I hope by reading my review you will decide against watching this film. Also, spoiler alert, I’m sharing it all.
Are Rules Meant to be Broken?
With every movie there are rules established early in the story. This movie did that very well actually. The movie opened with corny font that we read describing the background of the story and established the rules. Pretty much, there were three sons of Adam: Abel, Cain, and Seth. Since Abel was murdered by Cain there were only two blood lines, one were the descendants of Cain (the mean and nasties) and the other was the descendants of Seth (Noah’s family, peaceful non meat eaters).
The opening text also described the Walkers. These were fallen Angels trying to help mankind who eventually turned on them and killed some of them off. Where do they go when they die? Don’t know, it wasn’t explained. Since The Creator didn’t like the fallen Angels he turned them into rock creatures (think Never Ending Story). I’ll admit, I thought it was kind of dumb but it didn’t bother me. As a story teller you can add elements as long as it fits within your blueprint of setting up your foundation. As corny as they were, I think the director did that with the Watchers
Noah gets a vision from the Creator (the name ‘God’ wasn’t used – didn’t bother me) and decides to visit his magician grandfather called Methuselah played by Anthony Hopkins. One of the first things that jumped out at me was everyone was wearing pants. Everyone. Kids, women, men, everyone except the rock creatures were wearing pants. Think Mad Max.
Methuselah confirms that Noah had a vision so Noah decides he is going to build an ark for the animals of the land and his family; no one else. What I like about the original biblical story is that the Creator actually had conversations with Noah, gave him instructions of how big the ark should be, what it would be used for, etc. (I imagine this is hard to grasp for a director who doesn’t believe in the Creator, so in his version of Noah, the Creator doesn’t speak directly to Noah, it comes in visions).
Noah commissions the rock people (Watchers) to help him build the ark. Noah reassures his wife (played by the beautiful Jennifer Connolly) and his three sons and adopted daughter that this is not the end of the world as we know it (anyone else hear REM in the background?) but the beginning. I loved it! Here, Noah, from the line of peaceful Seth, is reassuring that the Creator’s plan is to start a new with their family. ‘We must be spared’ was the overall theme in the beginning parts of the movie. Noah communicated this well to his family and went out to find a wife for his son.
While visiting the town the director did a masterful job of showing us evil in it’s natural form. Anyone want to know what a Godless society looks like? Yeah, watch this movie, you might get SOMETHING out of it throughout it’s slow crawl. As Noah is watching this he is disturbed and runs home to get his family in the ark.
While Noah is away, the magician, or wizard or whatever Methuselah is supposed to be is found by the adopted daughter who has a scar on her lower midsection and is barren from an old wound. Methuselah tells her ‘I haven’t given you my blessing’, confused she watches as he reached to touch her scar. ‘My blessing’ he says and she feels this sudden rush of, well, passion, and runs over to mate Shem, who she was to marry. There was no feeling of ‘blessing’ or ‘miracle’ from God but something out of a fairy tell and magic. Earlier in the movie he did this crazy magical fire thing killing a bunch of bad guys. Kind of dumb, kind of creepy, but whatever, as long as the music stops. Like literally the music was playing over all the dialog throughout the movie. (NOT KIDDING)
As Ham sees Noah return with no woman he asks his dad, ‘where’s my wife.’ Noah responds with ‘no wife for you’ (think soup nazi in Seinfeld) and Ham decides to go and find his own wife. Ham finds a girl and brings her back. Meanwhile, the crowd has been riled up by the main villain and the mob heads for the ark. Ham and his lady friend are almost to the ark when the lady gets caught in a bear trap type contraption that Noah set up earlier. She screams for help and Ham turns to try and take the trap off her foot.
In the midst of all these people and now pouring rain, Noah sees through the crowd his son Ham and the struggling girl. Noah runs through the wall of rock people that are killing all the intruders that are trying to get in the ark. Noah arrives to grab his son and demand he get in the ark. His son screams, even begged Noah to save his new found female friend. Noah shoves his son commanding that he get back to the ark. The woman is pleading for help but Noah looked down at her in disgust and Ham reluctantly went back to the ark. We then see Noah run back to the ark while the girl is screaming for help only to be drowned out by the trampling feet of the mob. Noah left her there to die. Even though she pleaded for help.
What did I just see?
I looked around to see if anyone else was as pissed as I was. The emotion that rose up in me was one that wanted to punch Noah in the face. Multiple times.
Noah? The righteous man Noah? Now I’m all for directors and story tellers taking liberties in a story but you still can’t make changes to characters that everyone knows.
Imagine if Captain Ahab found the white whale only to throw himself at the mercy of the animal?
What if Luke married Lei?
How about Superman chilling in a Jacuzzi with Lex Luther filled with Kryptonite?
No, no and no.
You can’t have these things because the characters are so well known by the masses. The same could be said for Noah. Noah was a righteous man that would not have left the girl. In fact most villains wouldn’t have left the girl. This is when the movie got stupider.
The main villain happened to sneak on the ark, only him of course, how all the other masses of people didn’t is beyond me but it was apparent this director was going to do anything and everything in this story regardless of the gaping holes.
One thing I thought was cool, as the rock creatures died from the attacking mob one of them called out to the Creator asking for forgiveness. It was incredible to see the forgiveness offered by the Creator as he took them up to the heavens. Another hole in the story (or rules established at the beginning) was they had always wanted favor back with the Creator. When the first Watcher got taken to heaven the other Watchers said ‘the Creator has forgiven us’ and fought harder against the mob.
So now we have Noah on the ark. This is creepy, crazy, mad Noah. He tells his family that they are the last humans on earth. That’s why wives were not chosen for the two youngest sons. Although little did anyone know that little miss thang was in heat, mated with Shem and was obviously pregnant with his child. Noah had changed his tune though, he told everyone at the dinner table that they would all die off and Japheth (youngest son) would be the last living human and die alone. Sheesh, how depressing dude. Why bring them in the ark? To care for the animals? But the animals were all sleeping! Why not bring only you and your wife and let your kin die in the flood? Why? Exactly. More holes, more confusion, but we’re not done.
Noah finds out that the girl is pregnant. By this time Noah’s beady little eyes and crooked smile (yep, think the Shining and crazy Jack) freaked everyone out. This is where Jennifer Connelly busted out in this incredible monologue. “Why, why, why?” she pleaded through giant tears.
See, even the characters in their own stink’n movie were confused. It wasn’t just us in the audience.
Let me reassure you that I think Jennifer Connelly is an exceptional actress, one of my favorites (and it’s not because of my boyhood crush from Labyrinth). It’s because she is incredible at her craft. But there was no Beautiful Mind chemistry here, simply overacting since the rest of the characters showed little emotion.
Noah was determined to kill the babies once they were born. Again, why not kill the girl now and the babies? Well, it might be a boy and not a girl born…ooooookkkkk but if Noah truly thought the Creator wanted to kill off mankind. Do it now crazy man, do it now. Another hole.
You may have forgotten about the stowaway. He was still there but how did he survive at least 6 months hiding? He ate the animals. LOL, yep, he was eating some of the sleeping animals. My first thought was, if he’s eating the animals we wouldn’t see that species in today’s world. Why not create some funky Star Wars type creature that we don’t see because it was eaten off the ark? Nope, the animal that was killed sure sounded like a pig. And if he killed a pig to eat, well, no more pork for the rest of the human race. Didn’t think about that did we Mr. Director? Another hole.
As you can guess, Noah doesn’t kill the twin baby girls, he put a long sharp blade inches from the crying baby and the mom begged that Noah wait until the babies calmed down before he murdered them. The babies stopped crying and Noah had mercy, he dropped the knife as the ark slamed into land.
Whew, finally, Noah’s a good dude again, I gotta stick around to see the ending, maybe they will include the rainbow…can’t wait to find out. I never did find out.
Noah’s mood turns into a moopy Eeyore type and he moped around feeling sorry for himself. He left his family and hid in a cave for who knows how long. He was depressed. Why? We find out that in reality the Creator wanted Noah to kill the babies. But Noah choose life over death and felt bad for disobeying the Creator.
Now let me get this frigg’n straight (sorry mom for using the frigg’n word).
Are you telling me that the Creator of the entire world. The dude who turned the fallen angels into rock thingies, brought a flood to earth, animals to an ark couldn’t just wipe you disobedient servant off the face of the earth? I was done. I walked out. What a waste of two hours of my life. Not only did this director not understand the true greatness of this story, he made a bad picture.
I defended this movie, I encouraged Christians to support this movie, to take their kids, to watch how the ark was built, and how animals came to rest in the first ever zoo. It didn’t matter to me that creation was mixed with evolution or that Noah and his family were environmentally conscience or even that the fallen angels were rock creators.
NONE OF THAT OFFENDED ME AS MUCH AS A POOR MOVIE DID.
I’ll end with this. It’s not as bad as everyone says it is. It’s worst.
1 star out of 5