Noah-A Review before The Flood

I’ve long been a fan of Russell Crowe and casting him against his Beautiful Mind costar Jennifer Connelly gave Noah some attractive star power to entice me to see it. But it wasn’t enough. The story of the annihilation of the human race by an invisible, all-powerful and all-knowing cloud creature is so childish, that even that kind of acting powerhouse duo couldn’t tempt me to take a bite of its apple. I’ll admit I was curious to see how they’d put two of every animal on a boat in the middle of a Middle Eastern desert, and how they’d portray a 600-year old Noah doing the heavy lifting to build a wooden boat that conceivably could hold a menagerie of 10 million or so creatures. But not curious enough to go see it.

I began seeing the reviews of the movie online, and they were focused, for the most part, on comparing the film to the Biblical version of the story. It seems the screenwriter, director and producers took plenty of poetic license and tried to make environmental and cultural statements relative to the modern era in the film, and this piqued my curiosity just a bit more.

Finally, bored and sleepy at 6:00PM on a Sunday, I suddenly decided I’d go to the movies. I still wasn’t sold on Noah, but there wasn’t anything else I considered an option. So the time had come to decide and I decided in favor of genocide. I should have gone to see The Muppets.

After the opening scene of “in the beginning…” using what looked like Comic Sans font, we see Noah as a child having a coming of age discussion with his dad, who he then watches die at the hands of an evil king. Noah runs away and then we see him with a full beard and long flowing locks with a couple of kids of his own. Noah gives his sons an environmentally friendly lesson about taking only what they’ll use and no more, and then kills three dudes who were trying to hunt and kill a part dog, part coyote, part armadillo. Noah and his boys burn the poor evolutionary experiment gone awry after it dies of its wounds and they go back home to their tent in the middle of nowhere.

Noah has a nightmare, wakes up and walks out of his tent to be followed by his wife who asks him casually if He had spoken to him (I’ve had lots of nightmares in my lifetime, but my wife never asked if God had spoken to me). Noah is quite certain that his nightmare was in fact The Creator letting him know He planned to kill pretty much everybody, and soon. So Noah packs up his family, who somehow had been existing on a vegetarian lifestyle in the middle of a barren wasteland, and heads off to find his grandfather, who lives in a cave in a mountain like the Bridge Keeper from Scene 24 in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. Grandpa gives Noah some “tea,” Noah trips out and has visions of death and destruction, and grandpa gives him a seed from the original Garden of Eden. Noah convinces The Watchers–angels who had taken mankind’s side in defiance of The Creator and had earned His wrath, when He turned them into stone Transformers–that he’s one of the good guys, plants the seed from the original Garden which instantly grows into a magical forest, and the stone Transformers quickly pow wow and decide, “We will help this man.”

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So Noah cuts off his long, sexy locks to sport a shaved head and hangs around in the center of the magical forest while the Stone Transformers do his slave labor and build his boat. His oldest boy Shem wants to get it on with Hermione Granger, only she’s barren so she doesn’t want to do it. Shem’s brother Ham (and why anyone would name a kid after a sandwich meat is beyond me, but it did make me chuckle when the actors had to scream out for him in the failed attempts at tension in the pre-flood downpour… “Ham! Ham!” Oh how I wanted to scream out “Cheese! Cheese!”) is pissed that he doesn’t have a woman to take on the boat, so he goes off in search of one to kidnap. Meanwhile, flocks of birds and herds of animals anti-climactically arrive at the boat, and are instantly put to sleep by Noah’s family using incense.

The wicked men, wicked because they build industrial cities and practice strip mining and maybe even fracking, decided they believed Noah’s story of the coming deluge because they saw the birds fly by and decide when the time comes, they’ll take the boat. They start preparing for the battle against the stone Transformers who guard the boat they’ve been building for Noah. Meanwhile, Noah’s pissed because his family isn’t pure. Shem and Hermione finally get it on in the magic forest, because Methuzalah takes a break from crawling around in the woods looking for berries because he’s got a hankering for ’em, and touches Hermione’s stomach, removing her barrenness and making her horny as hell. She sees Shem in the woods and there’s no holding her back. Ham is pissed he’s named after a cold cut, and Noah’s other kids are shitty too… for some reason. Ham finds a girl hiding out in a trench with a bunch of dead bodies, gives her some granola and thinks, “She’ll do.” Once the rain starts, he has no trouble convincing her this is no ordinary drizzle.

That was one of the more awkward moments of the film, as the rain starts to fall and everyone stops what they’re doing to stare dramatically up at the sky. Perhaps they’d never seen rain before, or this rain had a special feel to it, because no one even suggested that it might just be regular old rain. Nope, this was clearly the end of the world.

The King rouses his men with a powerful speech by asking them if they want to live… or die. The assembled masses didn’t have to think long before choosing life. “Then… LETS TAKE THAT ARK!” Lots of screaming and Braveheart type scenes of extras running through the woods toward the big boat with the stone Transformers guarding it. The Transformers are ready though, having fashioned a long series of chains (out of something) to use as a barrier to prevent the heathen mobs from getting to the boat. The King manages to shoot a bottle rocket into the place where a heart would be if the stone Transformer was a person and stick a spear in it, and ride the Transformer like a bucking bronco until he explodes, releasing his angelic self which shoots up into the clouds like a Supernova. The other Transformers are impressed, suggesting that The Creator has taken their buddy Optimus Stone Cold Prime back home. So they fight even harder as they’re now well prepared to die and have their angelic selves released and shot off into space.

While the exploding stone Transformer angel Supernovas are crushing the heathen mobs, and Ham goes into the boat all pissed off because the trophy wife he’d gotten out of the dead body trench got trampled by the mob so he’s still riding solo, and Noah is putting his axe in people’s backs and slitting throats, I looked at my watch and realized that only a miracle by The Creator Himself could keep me in my seat for another hour and 18 minutes. I stood up, and walked proudly up the aisle and out the door, into the dark night where it wasn’t raining.

On the plus side, I did enjoy the previews for the new Johnny Depp film and a few others that I can’t remember now.

  • I tried to have the review style match the movie’s style. Rambling, silly, somewhat incoherent and unintentionally comical.

 

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