First off, I will openly admit that there is a good reason why Noah has not been attempted yet. Despite it being a great story that one can learn a lot from in a biblical standpoint, there's not a whole lot of substance for a full-length movie. The people are wicked, so Noah preaches repentance. When that does nothing, he's commanded to build an ark to save the animals and his family while the Lord destroys the rest of the world and starts over. So he does. And that's really it. So to make this a successful venture, anyone who is making a movie out of Noah is going to have to come up with a few creative liberties just to add some story and substance that will make the movie interesting. This sheer fact alone is not what bothered me. What's more, I expected a slight deviation to the actual story that is there. So the idea of a deviation does not bother me. I want to make that perfectly clear before someone jumps out and criticizes me for complaining that they deviated or added things. That's not the issue here, so don't make a fool out of yourself when you respond to this review. The problem is WHAT they decided to do when they added things and deviated from the story.
PART ONE -- SPOILER FREE
So let's start at the top. Religion. Didn't want me to bring that up? Sorry, you shouldn't have clicked on a review about a religious-based movie. I didn't go into this movie expecting a religious movie. I went in expecting an action/adventure/disaster movie. But as I got into it, I became irked. The makers in this movie went out of their way to make this as non-religious as possible. What do I mean? I mean that the word "God" is not used at all in this movie. They call him "The Creator." Why is this necessary? Why not just say God? What's the problem there? You think you're going to offend everyone if you use the word God in a movie in the way it's supposed to be used? If you want to avoid this, don't adapt a biblical story. Also, the word "prophet" is not used. Noah's not a "prophet," he's "the chosen one." Why not just use the word prophet? This would be accurate to the source material. And no one would be offended. Methuselah is in this movie. Methuselah pulls off some pretty amazing miracles to help Noah. How? I don't know. It never says. He's not described as a man of God. He just looks like a wizard with magical powers. Then there's the introduction. "In the beginning there was nothing." And so on. Where were they getting this from? It's like they wrote their own bible in order to avoid quoting actual scriptures. Get what I mean? Why is it necessary to completely beat around the bush when it comes to every potential religious aspect? It bothered me. You can use religious, biblical terms and still have this not be a religious movie.
That aspect aside, the first half of this movie was just plain WEIRD. Noah's family is completely alone. They live in this barren rock-land area in a tent. How do they survive? I don't know. It doesn't look like there is any food or water. When people do come, where do they come from? I don't know. There's no city around. No buildings. They just show up. Apparently tents is all people knew? Tents in the middle of nowhere? They wander a bit and find a abandoned girl in the middle of nowhere. Why? Oh yeah, we wanted Emma Watson in the movie. Got it. Time passes. In a very weird way. We had to show every day passing by in the blink of an eye and nearly give me a seizure in the process. We couldn't have just said "10 years later." That would've been confusing.
Then this gets even funner. We run into rock monsters. Yup. Rock monsters. Apparently there were angels that fell from heaven. Ok, I get that part. But then they get to heaven and turn into these large rock monsters. What? Oh did I mention Noah's dreams? So freakin' creepy. We couldn't have had God appear in a dream and tell Noah to build an ark because he's going to flood the earth. Too religious. Instead Noah dreams he's drowning and all these corpses that look like zombies come to attack him. And somewhere in there a snake slithers out of it's skin, an apple shows up, and we see a glowing Adam and Eve. Maybe I have these out of order. Point is, there is a lot of creepy weird dreams and flashbacks. Noah interprets this as God is going to destroy the world. Ok, semi-plausible, but still super weird and creepy.
Noah goes to Methuselah. Methuselah is obsessed with berries the whole movie. Why? Shem tells him that he likes berries. So Methuselah goes crazy over berries. What? Why? Then Methuselah touches Shem and he falls asleep. No children should hear this next conversation. Why not? Well, after concluding that Noah needs to build an ark, Methuselah gives Noah a magical seed. What does this seed do? It plants... a forest. Yup, you heard that right. Apparently forest-planting seeds existed? Why? Oh yes. Trees don't exist where Noah lives and he needs to build an ark. So we need to plant a forest. Oh remember our rock monsters? For some reason, they decide to join Noah. And in fact, these rock monsters are the ones that build the ark. Really?
Get the point? The first half of this movie is just super, super weird. I mean, I get that they need to add things. Creative liberties need to happen in order to create a decent movie out of the story of Noah. I get it. But who in the world wrote this? And why did they think these were good ideas? It was just dumb. Add to that, the whole first half of the movie is actually super slow and boring. The actors, especially Russell Crowe, just look bored the whole time. Like ok, this is a dumb movie, but I'm getting payed. So sure, I'll be Noah. Just give me my paycheck.
But yet I haven't even gotten to why I hated this movie so much. But to describe my true feelings, I NEED to talk about the second half of this movie. So yes, SPOILERS will happen from here on out. If you don't want to hear any SPOILERS, close this browser right now. Chances are you are really bored anyways because I have already written more than I usually do. Just know the last half of the movie was awful. I could've forgiven the first half if the last half was epic, but it wasn't.
PART TWO -- SPOILERS
If you are continuing to read this, first off, I'm impressed that you got this far. You must love my writing. Either that or you have nothing to do with your life right now. Let's just pretend it's the first. Also this means that you have either seen the movie or don't care about it being spoiled. You've been given a fair warning.
Like I've said, the first half of this movie is weird and goofy, but I could've forgiven it if it had a epic ending. But it didn't. There came a point where the movie completely lost all of my faith that it could be good. The ark is near completion and Noah and his wife realize that if they are going to live on, their sons need to have wives. So Noah goes to this weird, creepy village to find wives for his sons. After seeing the state that they live in, Noah decides that mankind needs to be completely wiped off the face of the earth. So he gives up on finding wives for his sons and goes back to the ark. He tells his family that they will save the animals. Once the flood is over, they will live as a family and once they die, that will be it for mankind. Then the world will move on without the animals and plants being bothered one bit. This is justice. Mankind is being punished.
Logically, Ham does what a normal teenager/young man would do when his father announces the suicide of mankind. He runs away to find his own girl. Sure, this happens super fast. He falls in a ditch where there just happens to be a girl all alone. So he stays with her. Then it starts raining, so he convinces her to come with him to the ark. On the way, she steps on a bear trap. Ham can't help her because he is too weak and there is an army right behind them planning on attack the ark. Here comes dad to save the day, right? Nope. Noah pushes Ham towards the ark, looks at the girl, and intentionally leaves her to die. She quickly gets trampled by the army.
That scene is where I lost it. It's all downhill from there. Making things worse. Emma Watson learns that she is pregnant on the ark. The magical wizard Methuselah healed her right before he died eating a berry. A second later she runs up to Seth and immediately jumps him and they... well... the scene cuts thankfully. But she's pregnant. What does grandfather Noah say to this? Well, instead of being happy, he is almost horrified that his (or God's?) plan is about to be frustrated. So he announces that if it's a girl, he's going to kill the baby. And he hates doing all this... but he is just following God's... I mean "The Creator's" will. He begs several times to not have to do this, but the answer seems to be no.
I won't actually spoil the very, very end. That is sufficient. But now let me get to the problems with this. First off, the film screams an environmentalist platform. I haven't seen a movie this politically charged since WALL-E. I mean, really? Your going to twist the story of Noah this much so you, Darren Aronofsky, can sit on your high horse and yell out to how crappy the world is and how we need to repent because we are destroying the environment? Remember, there is no life-form around. They live in a land where it's apparent that mankind has destroyed the environment. And now they are being punished to the point where God is going to wipe all them off the face of the earth and instead move forward without mankind. Just the animals and the plant-life. And that will be a perfect earth. Now I'm usually among the crowd that says sometimes a movie is just a movie and the political propaganda is unintentional, made up be crazy politicians. But nope. This I think is so obvious and so in-your-face that it has to be intentional in my opinion. Moreover, Aronofsky himself has claimed that Noah was the first environmentalist. Sometimes I can still enjoy a movie. I love WALL-E. This time it got in the way.
Second huge issue. Crazy Noah. When you make a movie and call it Noah and it's about Noah, I feel it's the right thing for me to root for Noah and treat him like the protagonist. When Noah goes psycho and decides God has told him to destroy mankind, the switched in me was completely flipped. Noah was the antagonist. I care about mankind. I cared about the Ham's girlfriend that Noah killed. I care about Emma Watson's twin daughters that Noah is threatening to kill. Noah is the villain in my eyes. I want him stopped. Everyone is mad at him, but especially Ham. Ham discovers that our main villain has snuck onto the ark and the two conspire to kill Noah. I should be against them. But I'm not. I am wanting them to succeed. This is bad. If I want the main character of a movie -- who's supposed to be the protagonist -- to die, the makers of the movie have done something wrong.
And this leads right into the biggest reason why I hated this movie. Not a religious movie? I get it. But blaspheming against God and Christianity in the process for the sake of your environmentalist high-horse is UNACCEPTABLE. Don't want to hear me preach? Then you better close this right now, because I am about to preach. I care about mankind. God cares about mankind. God created man in his own image. That was his greatest creation. What does this movie preach? Man has destroyed the environment, so God is going to destroy man, because apparently God cares more about the environment than he does man. This is NOT... I repeat... this is NOT the reason why the flood happened. Man was wicked. Man didn't follow God. God decided to start over with Noah's family because they were righteous. Harsh? Yes. But for many reasons, this was the right decision. Never at any time did God have on his agenda to destroy mankind and move forward with without them. So while we are on the ark in the movie, I am cheering against Noah. I want his plan to fail. Noah doesn't want to do this, but he feels he is the chosen one to bring God's plan to pass. The plan to destroy mankind. So while I'm cheering against Noah, I realize that in fact I'm am cheering against the God of this movie. And that's when I become plain out disgusted at what this movie was doing. The God of this movie is NOT the God I worship. The God of this movie is NOT the God of the Bible and not the God of Christianity. And I am offended that Darren Aronofsky decided to interpret God this way.
So yes, I am finally finishing. Maybe you'll walk into this movie and see it things a completely different way. But in my opinion, I watched the story of Noah get thrown into a blender. I saw nothing but weird and confusing things in the first half and nothing but blasphemy and environmentalism in the second half. I drove home from the theater angry at what I saw. If you see something different, that's great. The beauty of movies is that we can all interpret them in a different way. We can all have different opinions and all be right. But as for me, I will recommend that you completely skip this movie. If you know that you disagree with me a lot and that recommendation makes you want to see this movie, then so be it. But I warned you. Remembering that I hated Man of Steel and put it as the worst movie of 2013, if you put me in a corner, pointed a gun to my head, and forced me to either re-watch Man of Steel or Noah, I would pick Man of Steel. That should say a lot. You blaspheme my favorite superhero and thus my childhood that is one thing, you blaspheme my God, this is another. I give Noah my worst grade, a 1/10.