Review: The Ambitious "Noah" Delivers On An Epic Scale

Since I started film-addict.com with a couple movie guys in Eric Moore and Chris McHugh, we have picked up some talent along the way. One of those recruits is Landon Burris. He is a St. Louis local movie theater manager who moonlights as an avid admirer of film and it's luscious history. He has reviewed films for my site for just over a year and today I present him to the VoicesFilm audience. He can sprinkle gasoline on a movie critique as well as any. Check out his review of the new release, NOAH.  This is a film that takes a famous religious story and spins its own tale. Did it work for Burris or not? Read up folks.

MovieNoah
Rating – PG-13
Runtime – 138 minutes
Directed by – Darren Aronofsky
StarringRussell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Sir Anthony Hopkins

Plot – Noah, grandson of Methuselah, begins having strange visions of a deluge that wipes out humanity and takes action to save all the world’s creatures in an epic retelling of the Biblical story.

Review – Dynamic filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, perhaps best known for 2010’s Black Swan, tackles his most ambitious project to date with Noah. Many questioned how the story of Noah, which occurs over a few paragraphs in the Old Testament Book of Genesis, could be expanded into a fleshed-out feature length film. Aronofsky seems to have figured out a way to achieve such a result with a final product that’s equal parts fantasy epic, disaster movie and religious tale.

The main problem with the approach Aronofsky takes here is that the film has too many fantasy elements for religious audiences yet its Biblical source material alienates those who would normally attend a fantasy or disaster film. While trying to please everyone, Aronofsky made a film that instead does not really appeal to anyone. This is not to say that Noah is a bad film, just misguided.

However, those with an open mind will be treated to an interesting film that paints Noah as a possibly insane megalomaniac anchored by a strong, human turn by Russell Crowe, giving what may well be his strongest performance since 2005’s Cinderella Man. Crowe’s Noah pushes away all of those who care about him, becoming a solitary, crazed man who has no sympathy for anyone, even his own family, while carrying out the mission he was tasked by The Creator.

The supporting cast, which includes Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, is able; and reliable old Anthony Hopkins steals scenes as the ancient Methuselah. Ray Winstone, who plays Tubal-cain, king of the wicked men of Earth, is almost comically over-the-top as the antithesis to Crowe’s Noah. His villain attempts to add higher stakes to the film but ends up detracting from them instead.

Visually speaking, Noah lives up to the hype as a true spectacle of a film. The sequences of the world’s creation and Noah’s visions are trippy and stunning and the flood doesn’t disappoint when it arrives, especially during a haunting scene of humans climbing on top of each other to try and stay alive as the waves wash over them. The animals, arriving two by two, don’t look quite as impressive, but such things are to be expected with CGI.

Though Noah is not quite as good as this reviewer hoped, it’s certainly worth a trip to the nearest theater and Aronofsky should be applauded for somewhat successfully taking on such an ambitious project.

Rating-3/5(worth the trip to the theater)

Written by Landon Burris

Russell Crowe as Noah

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