Poster
On good days, I am agnostic. On bad days, I am atheist.

As you can see, Noah is not a movie that would typically appeal to my sensibilities.

However, art trumps all. Darren Aronofsky is a talented artist among many others that happen to work in the medium of film. With incredibly interesting movies like Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler in his portfolio, I’m willing to watch any movie made by Darren Aronofsky.

Unfortunately, it is painfully obvious that Aronofsky was not given complete and total creative control over the final product. If you followed any of the press surrounding the production of Noah, then you’re aware of the studio’s overwhelming desire to appease the religious population. That’s not exactly surprising considering the religious demographic is key to making Noah a monumental commercial success.

But you can’t please everyone.

Russell Crowe as Noah

Yet again, this brings up the issue of whether art should be made for the audience or if art should be made for the artist regardless of the audience. As always, I want the artist to create their art without influence from the audience. Too much can go wrong with too many voices and too many hands.

You never want a focus group controlling your movie.

For the purpose of this film review, I don’t give a fuck about the biblical accuracy of Noah. In fact, I personally just find it hilarious that people complain about this movie’s representation of a fabricated story. The only thing I care about is how this movie shakes out as a piece of story-telling and film-making.

Although there’s a healthy amount to enjoy about this movie, Noah is certainly not one of Aronofsky’s better efforts. It’s hard to place all of the blame on Aronofsky since this seems like it could have been an entirely different movie if he was given autonomy to do whatever he pleased. I’ve waited more than a month to write my thoughts because it’s important sometimes to see what sticks.

Time-Lapse

In my mind, the only lingering aspects I can recall are the depictions of the rock monsters and passage of time. Without these creative hallmarks of Aronofsky’s film-making, not even Russell Crowe’s impeccable bushy beard could have saved Noah. This movie was often bordering on monotonous due to uneven pacing and a largely boring tone. I didn’t care at all about the storylines revolving around Noah’s two horny sons, and Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly could only do so much in their respective roles.

Despite serving as yet another example of why no movie should be more than 2 hours, the fact that Aronofsky could re-tell such a familiar story in an interesting fashion is an impressive achievement. Most (if not all) other renditions of this story would have put me to sleep faster than a 70-year old watching Syriana in a dark theater past 7 p.m.—which really happened years ago when I saw that smelly turd.

Noah isn’t a terrible movie. But it is definitely nowhere near great either.

Rock Monsters

I’m not sure who this movie was made for or why it was even made. This seems like the project started as Aronofsky’s labor of love, but mutated into some ungodly mess fixated on becoming a commercially successful monster. Noah might not meet such lofty expectations, but it isn’t the disaster that I feared.

My rating is probably inflated by a half-star out of respect for the heights Aronofsky can reach without meddling from a studio. With that said, I will never watch this movie ever again.

3 out of 5 stars

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