One person's thoughts may change the world
I have great respect for Russell Crowe, so much so that I thought he should have received the academy award two years in a row, first for winning it for “Gladiator”, but more importantly for his excellent work in “A beautiful mind”, in which my opinion, was a more difficult part to play. I also have great respect for Anthony Hopkins. There are so many movies he has played in that was exquisite work, but early in his career he drew me in playing a ventriloquist and his vicious dummy in “Magic” and the sympathetic doctor in “The Elephant man”.
So, when Noah was first announced, I thought it was going to be a box office flop, telling a Biblical story with huge special effects and two academy award winners to visually tell an actually benign story of building a boat to save all the animals and kill all the humans except Noah and his immediate family. Before I continue, let me say this, it’s not a religious movie. The story is not the literal story from the Bible. If you take the Bible literally from stem to stern, you won’t feel comfortable watching this movie.
Enoch (as the narrator) tells Methuselah of the coming worldwide flood and of the future Messianic kingdom. Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah. Now of course the movie didn’t tell the story this way. It starts with Noah’s father being killed in front of him, and him running away in what looks like a post nuclear war world. Added to this, fallen angels, who came down to help man be closer to God, become wingless, rock like creatures who are used and also hounded by man, who is wicked and warlike, sort of like 20th century earth.
First, this movie feels like a Viking movie, with hardly any Godlike features besides a few dreams by Noah. In the Bible, God speaks directly to Noah, telling him the dimensions of the Ark. Methuselah, played by Hopkins, is a cave dweller, that seems to have no purpose other than to give hidden clues to what is going to happen, given he’s 960 years old. In the Bible, God spared Methuselah his wrath by allowing him to give up the ghost 7 days before the flood. In the movie, Methuselah dies while the waters rush towards the great Ark while symbolically eating a berry.
Now you would think Hopkins and Crowe could carry this movie, and they can, but my question is, why would they? Why would two very accomplished actors waste their time with this movie, and please don’t tell me it’s the money, because they both have a lot of it.
Let’s start with the screenplay. Writer John Logan, who wrote Gladiator, The Last Samurai ( a movie which I loved), Sky fall, and other successful screenplays, wrote a flop on this one. A flop, a bad one, virtually nothing that could hold my attention that almost made me fall asleep ( especially Ham’s part and lack of dialog, but I’ll get to that later ).
In the movie, a huge forest is grown from the parting of waters, growing trees bush, scrubs, and containing an assortment of animals who systematically begin to come to the Ark, and are put to sleep by a potion Noah and his family comes up with.
Then there is Tubal-Cain. Ah-Ha, now we have a reference, to none other than Cain, who slew is brother Able. Yes, Tubal-Cain has bad blood, running around with hords, beating up fallen angels when he can, and rolling up on Noah and the Ark. He wants the Ark, and even calls it out by name. This is all in the basic form of script writing, the antagonist. No basic story is not without an antagonist. Noah’s enemy hoards are beaten back by the stone angels that are helping Noah build the Ark, who figure out that all they have to to is split open their bodies and they go straight back up to heaven. Tubal-Cain survives the initial flood and boars into the Ark as a stowaway, waiting to strike back at Noah.
There are many more weak sub-plots but the weakest is Ila Shem’s wife. Barren at first, she ends up getting pregnant, having twins, which by now Noah is on a rampage to kill the twins because of the evil that the world had in it, and that man is to be no more after they die off. So, Noah becomes a potential maniacal child killer, chasing lla to the top of the Ark before lowering the knife to kill the twins and embracing them. But, that’s not all folks. After the Ark has landed, Noah, tired from building the great ship, fighting the hoards, chasing Ila though the ship, having a last stand fight with Tubal-Cain, he gets off the boat, finds some grapes, makes some wine, and makes his booty shine ( translation, he gets drunk ).
OK so I”m done. I’ve devoted too much time to a movie not worth a straight to video rating. It was bad. When a movie’s credits special effects list of support people outnumber those in the film, you can tell the dialog is going to be weak. Sorry folks, don’t waste your time, and remember, time is money my friends….
By the way Ham, if someone saves your life, you don’t betray them to someone you don’t even know. Ham’s dialog was nothing more than weak facial jesters that were beyond any means of what the movie lacked…. Purpose.