Sunday, March 30, 2014

NOAH (the Movie) Misses the Boat!

Saturday night is typically date night for many couples and I went to the movies with my hubby of 21 years to see Noah, a film that had all the components in place to be a blockbuster good time.
It wasn't.
I'm not extremely familiar with the Bible story and this review doesn't come from a Christian background. Or a Muslim background, or anything but a background of someone who enjoys a good movie. Noah did not deliver.
Let's just start by saying that in the theatre of maybe 70 seats (it was one of those order drinks and food to your chair), three people walked out of the movie. I would've gone too but tickets were expensive and I didn't know until afterwards that my husband was hoping it would get better, make sense, justify the time and money.
For me, Noah was not worth the price of admission. And then some.
Where to start?
The studio that made this disaster headed off Christian group dissention  by saying that Noah is not the Biblical story--not exactly. No, no it is not. But that's not entirely responsible for this flop.
The movie opens with a cheesy explanation of the biblical tale of how the world began with Adam and Eve, saying that angels came to earth called Wanderers to protect one family that had branched off after Cain killed Abel. Turned out Wanderers were giant rock monsters that talked and judged mankind. Come on People!
What genius at producer headquarters ok'ed this? This guy to the left.

Hubby and I both surmised that the rock monsters were drawn and voiced by Optimus Prime people. Hauntingly similar to a transformer.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the story in a nutshell. Noah's family moves from a wasteland to find Methuselah, his grandfather, for wisdom. Noah has seen visions and believes he's been chosen to save the world. He's had a direct message from the Creator. When Methuselah's seed from the Garden of Eden sprouts a landscape of forested hardwood, the building of an ark begins. The enormous ship's construction is largely due to the strength and power of the Rock Monsters. Otherwise, how could a family of five create logs to make this football field-sized floating box?
The ark on screen was impressive but when the animals arrived, the film took on a new cheesy quality with fake CGI animals arriving in droves that immediately went into the ark and fell asleep due to an herb that Noah's wife, played by Jennifer Connelly, concocted.
The animals slept side by side in great lumps, thereby eliminating any cool scenes with actual animals. Missed opportunity.

Noah himself becomes Daddy Dearest as he refuses his sons potential wives on the ark --wives that would help them repopulate the world. He's interpreted the Creator's mission to mean that he is supposed to repopulate the world with animals only. Humans are too selfish, hateful to continue and Noah and his family must live out their final days knowing they are the last of a species. But the "adopted" daughter becomes pregnant with his eldest son's baby and as the rains come Noah vows to let the baby live only if it is a son. Why? Because there are no girls besides mom and grandmom in the world to repopulate with? If it's a girl he's worried that one of his sons will impregnate the female? The implication was that one of the boys would eventually rape their niece/daughter.
The rain comes, the rock monsters head back to the sky in a firework display (Transformers) and the ark floats off. They've battled Cain's people (a barbaric lot) who are trying to get in the boat, and one of Noah's sons, who's devastated that he didn't get a wife, harbors Cain in the animal hold as an act of revenge on his father.
Let's stop here for a bit to tell you that Noah and family are veggies. They don't understand or condone the eating of meat. The film is touted as having an environmental edge. Is this why? But, Cain eats meat and sets about eating the animals to stay alive and get stronger from his injuries incurred in battle. My hubby, in his infinite humor, thought Cain should have been seen eating a unicorn instead of the rat/lizard we saw, thereby explaining the unicorn's extinction.That was how bad/boring the movie was. We had to think up funny stuff to amuse ourselves. Connelly turned in a good performance, her best scene where she defied Noah. I must note that Anthony Hopkins also did a fine job as Methuselah. He was lucky his part was as small as it was.
The best part of the whole movie was Emma (Hermoine Granger) Watson as the adopted daughter.
She turned in a solid performance, had the best part in terms of future damage control for an actor's career, and actually got to challenge Noah at the end.
The character of Noah was a controlling, delusional patriarch who went on a bender after the ark beached on a hill and an island eventually appeared. When he sobered up he returned to his family to take his place at the head of the pack. I found this the most unbelievably insulting part of the whole film. Not the bender. But that a man who'd been willing to commit unspeakable crimes a month earlier and had driven off his son was allowed to resume his place as the leader. Accepted again. Yuk.
Not only did the women let him back in the family but they let him lead them. The final scene was insulting to women. Even after making the mistake of believing they would be the last of their species and steering them all to horrific heartache, he was still the best one to lead the group?
I'm not familiar with how the world became repopulated according to the Bible but I left the movie thinking that one of Emma Watson's children would be in charge of having the babies, adding a whole new dimension to the words family love.
When the movie ended, my husband and I hurried out of the theatre with a bad taste in our mouths and talked all the way home about the lack of anything redeeming in the movie Noah. If the CGI's were impressive we didn't notice because we were too busy being talked down to by the sheer unbelievability of the movie. According to media packets Noah wasn't screened before release. If it was, I think it would not be the top box office winner this weekend.
Go ahead, spend your money if you're curious, but be sure to take hand cream or a book so you won't feel like you wasted 2 1/2 hours of just sitting there.

Kim Hornsby is the Bestselling author of THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE a story with no rock monsters or similarities to the Bible. With 206 reviews on Amazon, most 4&5 star, Jumper is becoming known as an Indie Favorite. Nominated for Best First Book by Indi RomCom and up for Best Paranormal of 2013 by Chanticleer Reviews, Jumper is on sale now at Amazon.

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