Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: Noah

This movie was almost universally reviled when it came out earlier this year. Some hated it because it takes so many liberties with the Biblical story of the Flood. Others didn't like it because it's so aggressively dumb. And I'm not here to tell you that it's a good movie. But it's so goofy and over the top that if you can sit back and take it for what it is, it starts to have a certain oddball charm.

How goofy is it? (Possible spoilers ahead.) Well, Noah, as played by Russell Crowe, comes across as sort of a badass vegan eco-warrior, which fits right in with the parts of the movie that seem like one of those Seventies films that only worked if you watched them while you were stoned. He has giant rock monsters who are really fallen angels for sidekicks. (To quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up.) The Ark is attacked by guys with a cannon. Methusaleh is a wizard. The animals on the Ark all get along because Noah puts them in suspended animation. There's a stowaway on the Ark. It's like the guys who made it said, "Okay, we got a guy named Noah, and a big boat, and a flood...but other than that let's just make up a bunch of stuff."

But the special effects are pretty good in places, and the actors all ham it up (no pun intended) and seem to be having a good time, and hey...giant rock monsters. That's got to be worth something.

But the ultimate test...I watched the whole thing and didn't fall asleep once. These days, that's pretty good.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Truly a goofy movie but I didn't fall asleep either.

Jack Badelaire said...

I've only seen the bit about Genesis, with the ecosystem changing and the animals evolving, right up to man killing man etc., and that sequence was pretty impressive. I'll watch this some night when I find it via On Demand, but yeah, my hopes aren't that high.

Anonymous said...

"Ham it up" - good one.

You make it sound pretty appealing.

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...


Tom Johnson said...

Yikes! I'll wait till it hits the $5.00 bin at Wally World. Thanks for the Review, James.

Fred Blosser said...

Saw it in the theater, lukewarm reaction, watched it again on blu-ray, liked it better. The big drawback is Crowe, who lacks the range and charisma that the script seems to call for. The Biblical/fantasy elements are interesting: Aronofsky takes pains to create his prehistoric world, even down to small details. You still can't beat SAMSON AND DELILAH, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, and BEN HUR for Hollywood Biblical hokum.