copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

The first and main issue is perhaps not with the movie itself, but it nonetheless inevitably reflects upon the film due to the subject material it chose to deal with. This issue is the attitude of Noah and his family: "better than though". Noah and his wife speak several times about them being the chosen ones. They are special and others are not. Others, the ones living in the cities are wicked and are going to be destroyed while they, the ones living in the dirt are the chosen ones. Kudos to the film for not shunning away from showing this, but it does present a bit of a problem.


The problem is that it seems that the movie (and the source material this story comes from) wants you to root for Noah and his family. This is evident because the bad king of men is shown to be a murderer, and also at one point he says that he'll take what he wants, showing that he is arrogant and selfish. But beyond that, his motivations throughout the rest of the film are completely justifiable and he is generally just trying to save his people. Meanwhile, his subjects are shown as debauched through the way they treat their weak ones, but this only underlines the fact that there are weaker and more innocent people in their midst, whom God apparently deems to be collateral damage in his great plan.


In short, I did not know whom to root for because the protagonists were somewhat unlikable compared to the other characters.


The realistic portrayal of God's message was nice. His message came to Noah through dreams that Noah then interpreted himself. However the movie then undermines this realistic portrayal by having magical stone angels, fire swords and the eventual super-flood instead of a more realistic heavy storm the makers could have chosen to portray.  Noah's portrayal as a religious fanatic is also interesting, but as already mentioned, this just contributes to him being kind of unlikable.


Noah is not Gladiator's best performance. Russel is a little bland, always either stoic or angry, with half his face obscured by the beard towards the 2nd half of the movie. But the movie does have Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone in it, both of whom were great when they came on screen. Especially Ray as the villain was memorable.


Perhaps the biggest sin this movie commits though is that it is not very impressive or memorable. Here you have a world-wide flood, a disaster of biblical proportions (and for once that is not just a saying). So where is the anger, the struggle, the scale, the raining for 40 days and 40 nights? This should have been the new father of all disaster movies. Instead, it's just this passive-aggressive family and a group of some angry locals...and some CGI giants.


Whatever your opinion is of Christianity, the one thing you cannot call it is unimpactful or unimpressive. But this movie you can. Even the media have been rather quiet about it. Considering how the subject matter is handled, you'd expect Christian protests in the streets, but I have not heard much buzz about it.


It's not a bad film though. I didn't find anything wrong with the cinematography. The story doesn't have anything crazy or illogical in it; it's just the story you already know being given a bit of spice to make it long enough to fill a movie. The villain is interesting; the special effects are OK; the sound design is OK; everything's kind of OK.


Noah is not a bad film, but whether you will still remember it a month after seeing it is another question. It ends up on the pile of all the other average flicks like Need for Speed or Hercules. The disappointment is more with Noah not being the movie it could and should have been rather than with the movie it is.


It is a weird mishmash of realism and Lord of The Rings level fantasy. I feel I would have respected it more if it went either all the way in one or in the other direction.

Noah