Saturday, 29 March 2014

#21 NOAH

#21 NOAH - Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone directed by Darren (Black Swan) Aronofsky.

139 minutes.

Apparently this was an attempt by Aronofsky to make a myth movie, like Clash of the Tit Ants, the Legend of Hercules and the Immortals based on the old testament. To take an old myth and weave a CGI heavy movie around it with ancient gods, monsters and armies of men charging, epic battles and actors shouting: Release the Kraken, or in this case - "THE WRATH OF GOD!!!".

Trouble is, Darran can only go a little way to realising his dreams because let's face it, at the end of the day, it's still about, you know... God with a capital 'G' and he's 'real', isn't he? So you don't want to piss off any religious types, so you have to show some sort of respect, for a non-existent omni-present being, so, they can't have him being played by Anthony Hopkins or Liam Neeson, or even Morgan Freeman, so in this he's just played by a CGI serpent, a throbbing apple and a tree.

So, what do we have, well a film with fallen stone angels, a rampaging army of heathen environmental rapists and cannibals and a clearly demented Noah who's keeps hearing voices in his head and suffering from horrible visions of death and destruction on a global scale.

So, what's the story? Well, in case you don't know. Noah, begat by Whatnot and Do-Dah, begat by Zebedee and Mr Boingboing and his dad live happily until Ray "I'm the Daddy now!" Winstone turns up, kills dad and sends Noah scuttling off, until he's grown up to be Russell Crowe, to live off moss and bark with his drop-dead gorgeous super-model wife and two male-model sons.

Then Noah's brain tumor starts triggering horrific nightmares and before you can say, 'it's inoperable', Noah's dragging his family across Iceland in search of his grandad, Methuselah along the way picking up a gang of crippled stone angels called The Watchers and Hermione Granger.

Then there's a forest and a whopping great big boat where before there was just jam-soaked black gravel. Darren Aronofsky uses the device of facial hair to convey the passage of time and we get to see old Russ in a series of beards, although he avoids both the Caviler beard and the Landing strip.

Finally Ray turns up, bottles a couple of muppets and establishes he's not a believer, although that doesn't stop him constantly asking 'The Creator' why he's not returning his phonecalls any more?

Then the cgi animals fill up the ark, opting to sleep the rest of the film (lucky bastards) before the apocalypse happens and we watch 5 people discuss repopulating the world with just four childbearing women and four men, seven of which happen to be related and not think it's a bit creepy or odd then it all ends with Ray and Russell having a sexy, 'Women in Love-style wrestle' to the death, but thankfully fully dressed.

This is a film that subtly sneaks the idea of Origin of Species and the Big Bang Theory into the utterly preposterous concept of Creationism and the Garden of Eden, while at the same time nudge-nudge, wink winking at the whole stupid idea of the Noah and the Flood and the whole concept of 'In the Beginning there was darkness...'

It's full of heavy sombre and earnest acting and not a shred of humour or humility what so ever. Life back then wasn't fun, or rewarding, it was just relentlessly bleak and dystopic, Christ it's no wonder God just gave his whole creation a sort of Etch-a-Sketch shake and started again.

We're clearly living in the End of Days right now, or at least Holywood [sic] would like us to think so, what with a relentless glut of Disaster movies and these current fad for Old Testament block-busters, which I, for one, will be praying for to suffer a box-office apocalypse and disappear for god, sorry, good.

Darren Aranofski is a stunning director and this film is a brilliantly directed but that's it. As stories go, this doesn't have enough going on to support a 2 and a 1/2 hour dirge.

So, is it No Way for Noah or just a solid Yes Ah!?

From me, it's a solid NO-AH WAY!


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