After several hours of letting this movie fully sink into my mind I think I am ready to review it…But be warned this review is coming from a God fearing Christian who HAS read the Bible, specifically the story of Noah, several times, and therefore is biased in that regard.
If you are going to see this movie looking to learn more about Noah and his story, this is NOT the movie for you. If you are going to see this movie for any religious reason or purpose then, again, this movie is not for you either. I almost wish this movie was called “Noah: Son of Earth” because then at least that way it could be talking about any man named Noah and I could give it a slightly better review! But unfortunately, this is supposed to be the story of Noah from the Bible. What exactly the director was basing his “facts” on I’m not sure. I mean that as loosely as possible because you’d have to actually BELIEVE the story of Noah and the ark and what happened to him and his family, I feel, in order to tell it correctly. And while I try not to judge others, I do not think this director believes the story and that is why, for me, it came off very non-religious and served no purpose. I’m sure he set out to tell the story of a man who builds a boat for the animals (and his family) to save them all from a flood that will rid the world of all that is left, but he missed the mark so completely with just about every character I hardly know where to begin. NO, that’s incorrect, I know EXACTLY where to begin…
As the movie does, allow me to start at the beginning when, it seems, the Creator, made the Heavens, the Earth, and all the animals, and that was good. The movie then goes on to insinuate that after this, God created Adam and Eve, and that was not so good. In fact, it got SO BAD, that the Creator didn’t JUST want to rid the world of all mankind, but it includes Noah and his family as well! But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Noah believes that all of man is wicked and bad. He also believes that the Creator wants him to save what He believes is good: the animals. That is the beginning and end of this movie. What I find so amazing is how little of the animals we actually see in the movie. We only see the animals Noah is to save when they arrive to enter the ark and even then it’s for what may amount to be a whole 5 minutes of this almost 2.5hr movie! At least the part about his saving the animals IS in the Bible. I’d think they’d get more screen time? Nope. Instead we give more screen time to The Watchers aka rock people aka angels who came down from Heaven against the Creators wishes to save Adam, but the Creator became angry at them and turned them into molten lava, etc. etc. etc.
Who is it that says the Bible is unbelievable!? Well after seeing this movie I wouldn’t blame them if they continued believing that.
What disturbs me is just how much Noah values the Earth but not the Creator. At least the rock people (aka The Watchers) acknowledge the Creator whenever something miraculous happens! When Noah plants a seed that his grandfather tells him came from the Garden of Eden and an entire forest grows from it in an instant does Noah thank the Creator? Nope. He gathers his sons and says “let’s build an ark.” That’s it. Nothing more.
Or how about in the beginning of the movie when Noah is out with his sons and his middle child, Ham, plucks a flower from the ground, he nearly cuts his head off for disturbing the plant that came from the Earth! Yet, when a drop of rain falls at Noah’s feet seconds later and the very flower his son had just pulled from the ground right before his eyes? You guessed it, he does nothing. Oh, he does discuss the phenomenon with his wife that evening, but not as if it’s a miracle or anything fancy like that. Just casual conversation.
I refuse to discuss the part where Noah explains how his family (including himself) will die and in what order and who will bury whom. I also refuse to discuss his rationale for when the child that Ila (Shem’s “wife” played by Ema Watson) is carrying will be killed. Both are stupid and just never happened. That whole storyline never happened, as it is written in the Bible. In the first place by the time Noah and his family enter the ark his three sons each have wives and children of their own. In those days they lived to be hundreds of years old so it would make sense that his sons would have sons of their own. This is why I don’t understand where this director got the idea that the story of Noah is about the Creator wanting him to help in ridding the Earth of mankind altogether?
I hate to say this, but it’s a bastardization of the story of Noah in order to further some agenda that man is the reason for all that is wrong in the world and the Creator wishes we never existed! That is simply not true and I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that. I really do. I’m not angry at this movie or at the director for the choices he made in how to tell this story. I can only hope that people who see this will at least be curious enough to want to read the story of Noah in the Bible for themselves and won’t use this movie as their only basis of understanding. I’ll also say that using the name Creator instead of God didn’t bother me as much as I know it bothered other people. For me they are interchangeable. Of course most Christians use God more than Creator. But we acknowledge that God IS the Creator so what’s the big deal?
I do have ONE positive thing to say about the movie. I must speak a little bit about Methuselah. In the movie it’s played by Anthony Hopkins and he does a great job. I have to say, if not for this character I might have walked out on the movie halfway through. Very quickly, in Biblical history, Methuselah is believed to be the oldest living person on record. He lived to be over 900 years old! Wow right? Anyway, in this movie he has a total of 4 scenes in the movie. I know those scenes better than any other because they were funny, deeply spiritual, and to me, authentic. Now, in the telling of the story of Noah in the Bible, there is no mention of Methuselah so I don’t know if any of those scenes are based on some truth? But with the way the rest of the movie went I’d say those 4 scenes were purely a way to move the movie along. I don’t want to spoil it for those who may go see this or might just way for it to show up on Netflix one day, just know to look for him and appreciate those scenes for what they are worth.
Another person who I feel did a tremendous job was Jennifer Connelly, Noah’s wife, Naameh. She was a pillar of strength against her crazy husband and the scene where she gets angry at him was very powerful and very moving. You have to believe any mother would react with the same conviction and truth the way she did. Her part was small but it spoke volumes for me.
In the end I’d give this movie no thumbs up and like half a star. Again, if it were a different Noah and not the Biblical one I would have given it two thumbs up and 5 stars easily, but as it stands I’ll stick to Evan Almighty if I’m looking for a decent telling of the story of Noah! Oh, and Russell Crowe, not your best performance sir. You were better in Gladiator and quite frankly Les Miserables has more truth of God & his good works than this movie!