One does not simply cast Russell Crowe as Noah when planning an accurate portrayal of the biblical hero.
“Noah” presents itself more as mythology than truth. This gave it potential to be an interesting new take on the classic Sunday school story. However, through indecision about whether to accurately follow the portrayal of the Bible or enhance it with action and drama, the film ended up confusing and less-than-satisfying. Giant golem-type creatures that were supposedly fallen angels, battles between Noah’s family and the relatively unknown Tubal-Cain and random bits of magic make the film seem choppy and unclear.
Some of the filming choices were absolutely beautiful, and others were poorly thought out. There are shots that show the immensity of the project Noah has taken on, landscapes that feel real and moments that make the camera seem as though it is another character.
However, there are also moments that make even the strongest stomach a little queasy. For example, excessive spinning makes it hard to focus on anything in particular and makes viewers feel dizzy and unable to focus. Some shots were obviously entirely computer-generated. This made the heartfelt moment between characters hard to take seriously and drew the audience out of the experience completely. Combine this with moments made for shock, and it’s hard to be immersed in the film for long periods at a time.
The film is loaded with big names such as Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly. They don’t disappoint; where the film fails to impress, there are moments between actors that are hard to watch because they are so raw.
However, although Crowe has the ability to portray the man who built the ark, he wasn’t cast for those talents. He was cast for the intense action sequences that were thrown into the film. Noah defends his sons and the ark through violence which seems wrong for a man chosen because he was blameless and pure despite the corruption of the world.
There were moments in the story, however, that were absolutely beautiful. These few, rare gems make what some consider a childish story very real. In the ark, during the beginning of the flood, Noah and his family sit in the dark listening to the screams and pleading of those outside who are dying a slow death.
Noah must tell his son Shem that he isn’t allowed to help them and then has to face his son’s anger. This moment suddenly made the story real. These were real people who were forced to do something that was difficult because they were told it was right.
Although there were a few redeeming moments in “Noah,” in the end it was another example of a book-turned-movie failure, but this book is a lot more important to a lot more people than “Eragon” ever was.
RATING: 2/5 STARS