Movie Review: Noah (2014)

noahAmong the things I wasn’t expecting to see in an adaptation of the story of Noah and the Ark: huge talking rock-people who help build the maritime vessel, magic crystals that foretell the future and, oh yeah, a shipboard pregnancy test. I’m generally willing to follow visionary director Darren Aronofsky as he tilts at windmills even when the breeze is swelling with CGI doves and the slings and arrows from the evil armored descendents of Cain. But unfortunately the epic Noah (D+) is a folly of Biblical proportions. Although his unconventional take on the tale allows viewers to ponder the weight of the mission at hand (everyone else on the planet must die so that earth’s goodness can be saved), the director simply gets in his own way with his gonzo choices. As the title character, Russell Crowe is singleminded of purpose, which can drive his family – including ladies Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson – a little crazy. The film’s tone shifts wildly from apocalyptic journey to domestic drama to pirate adventure. I suppose Waterworld seemed as good a blueprint as any for a big-budget adventure. There are lots of WTF (“what the flood?”) moments throughout, some simply surprising and a few of them actually tender and touching; but by the time all is said and done, everyone involved should feel adequately punished for the evil of man.