Thursday, March 27, 2014

Noah Review - 3 Stars

Darren Aronofsky has created some of the most disturbing films I’ve ever seen.  I still shudder at the memory of “Requiem for a Dream” as well as “Black Swan” which won the Oscar for Natalie Portman.  So maybe Aronofsky’s reputation touched off the controversy over “Noah.” Other than that, I don’t see what the big deal is.  “Noah” tells a bible story as an action adventure tale.  Russell Crowe storms around responding to his visions and following his instructions to build an ark to save civilization.  The story starts slow and gets kinda weird,  with Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah — an ancient seer with the power to see, advise, and heal.  Jennifer Connelly speaks for love and mercy in a subplot involving their adopted daughter, played by Emma Watson, and their son.  This becomes important as the pair will shoulder the responsibility of populating the future world.  The building of the arc gets a little weird, with protections courtesy of angels made of rock who look a little too much like transformers for my taste.  Once the flood starts, “Noah” offers up some thrilling moments.  As the ark moves Noah sits his family down and tells them and us the creation story in a highly appropriate manner.  After the flood, questions of life and death hang over the story.  As an epic, I think “Noah” works—a would be blockbuster that feels more like art than commerce.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Religious story turned action epic.  Is it entertaining?  Sometimes weird sometimes thrilling.  Is it worth the price of admission?  For something new and different.