Noah

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Noah
"Will go down in the history of religious adaptations as a disaster of Biblical proportions"

The Old Testament is stuffed with fabulous stories, the majority of which are as nutty as a fruitcake. Noah and the ark is not the nuttiest - old buffer with white beard supervising orderly intake of wild animals and birds onto a floating zoo before a ginormous tsunami covers the face of the earth - but it's up there with Jonah and the whale.

Darren Aronofsky's film will go down in the history of religious adaptations as a disaster of Biblical proportions. It's not just nutty, it's nonflippingsensical and goes on so long you'll be dead before it ends. If you are unlucky enough to survive until the final credits you may be permanently damaged and become a berry junkie like Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), or lose your mind like Noah.

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According to the Book of Aronofsky, Cain fled after beating his brother's brains out and created a tribe of murderous colonisers - no, not the Taliban - who took over half the globe. The other brother, Seth, was the hippy one who encouraged free love and the whole right-on philosophy before Jehovah, who is not named surprisingly, put a stop to it.

Noah was from that family. He believed he was in touch with the great master and had to behave like a loyal lieutenant. When the hordes of rapacious killers under the leadership of Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) moved ever closer, burning and pillaging, he decided to build two massive containers and fill them with first-come-first-served (birds and snakes) before the rains came.

Living, as moviegoers do these days, in CGI City, Noah didn't construct the ark. This was left to a crew of giant rock monsters. Meanwhile, on the personal front, Mrs N (Jennifer Connelly) pleads with her hubby, "I want my sons to have children. I want them to be happy." Corny, but reasonable. He says, no girl babies allowed. He's gone doolally by now. And so when his eldest's wifeling, the once barren Ila (Emma Watson) - Grandaddy Methuselah touched her with his magic hands - becomes pregnant the air is tense with expectation (just kidding!).

Russell Crowe plays Noah as if auditioning for King Lear - not a hint of humour, not a whisper of irony. It seems incredible that a director known for such indy classics as Pi and Requiem For A Dream could have blockbusted so badly.

Jehovah must be sleeping. Otherwise he would have sent fire from heaven, like in the old days. Perhaps he doesn't care. Now that Charlton Heston has passed what can you expect from non believers on the Holly side of the wood?

Reviewed on: 02 Apr 2014
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A man believes that he was chosen to build an ark to save the world's animals and end human cruelty.
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Anne-Katrin Titze **

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis

Year: 2014

Runtime: 128 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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