Two weeks ago, I would not have put Noah very high on my movie priority list. Then my wife and I went to Cali for a Divergent screening. While we were driving around the Hollywood area, we saw mammoth billboards around every corner pushing Noah. This sparked several conversations about Russell Crowe and Emma Watson and what we thought the film would be like. After getting home, I reached out to Paramount and was given a bunch of media to look through. And Noah kept rattling around in my brain.
CAUTION – This article does contain SPOILERS. I will warn you, but don’t skim ahead if you want a surprise.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Noah was a bit of an enigma to me. I didn’t know if it was going to be a movie that I liked or not. I also decided that I doubted anyone really knew if Noah was the kind of movie they would be into seeing or not. So when I picked a movie to watch tonight, I picked Noah on IMAX so I could give my take.
I’m an action movie kind of guy. I use my mind analytically a lot for my professional career. I enjoy action movies because I like turning that side of my mind off and just letting my imagination go wild.. That means I’m willing to let a lot of things slide in the name of eye-candy and special effects. I know a lot of film-goers are not like that, but I am. Now you know where I’m coming from. I also walked into Noah with the expectation of a cinematic experience, not a spiritual one.
If you want a quick summary of if you should watch Noah, my answer is probably. It took my mind on an interesting journey and I really enjoyed the first half. The second half turns into a bit of a drama, which is where I lost some interest. But overall a decent film and probably lots of people will be talking about it at work.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD:
I really enjoyed the development of the film through the building of the Ark and the flooding of the world (you knew that one was coming right?). I felt like Darren Aronofsky did a fantastic job of leading you through what almost feels like a post-apocalyptic world that has been decimated by mankind. Only this would be pre-apocalyptic because of the setting. The world is absolutely barren. Overrun by an obscenely evil mankind that descended from Cain. Save a few that were not. I loved the loneliness I felt for Noah (played by Russell Crowe) and his family. I enjoyed Noah embracing his destiny to save mankind and the animals. It gets a little Sci-Fi in there a little bit, but I’ll leave that for the major spoiler review part below. I was cool with that part too. The battle to maintain control of the Ark rocked. I got the shivers during that part. I also felt the relationships that were developed between Noah’s sons and Ila (played by Emma Watson) were real and I could feel the tension that would inevitably develop once they boarded the Ark with only one woman available for Noah’s three sons.
And then Noah starting turning in a direction that I had a hard time agreeing with as realistic. Once Noah realizes the depravity of mankind on his mission to find wives for his sons, Noah starts to go certifiably nuts. It doesn’t manifest until they’re all sealed up on the Ark, but now Noah is pushing that all mankind needs to die to protect the animals. Noah goes completely off his rocker. To the point where Noah seems to become the new antagonist for the film and we feel like to complete the movie successfully, we’re going to have to have Noah killed off. Magically everything wraps itself in a tidy bow in the last 5 minutes in a not-very-believable fashion.
I felt that all of the actors were convincing. Russell Crowe played his part fantastically. Jennifer Connelly (Noah’s wife) was convincing and added so much emotion that you could see her shake. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth (the love triangle) really helped you feel what an end of the world scenario would be like if there were truly only one woman left. I just didn’t care for what the writers did to try and add drama and twists to the movie. There was also a pretty strong vein of Veganism running through the film. Almost to the point where it villifies anyone who eats meat in any context. I know it’s pretty trendy right now, and I know Noah is saving the animals, but why throw that in our faces?
Overall, I would have to say B- on this one. I really liked the first half. But the second half, though well acted, lost me. Is it worth seeing? Yes. If only so you can weigh in on it, because this film is certainly going to be controversial. It makes you think about things relating to the Noah story that you have probably never thought about before. It took my mind down some interesting roads, but I probably won’t buy it on BluRay later when it comes out.