‘Noah’ Review

photo for Noah Director Darren Aronofsky kicked up quite a storm with his semi-revisionist take on the biblical tale of Noah and the Ark. Much to the chagrin of bible-thumpers, Aronofsky humanized Noah and his struggle to understand why he was chosen by his creator to undertake the great task of saving animal species before an apocalyptic flood destroyed the world (he also altered the biblical tale by introducing The Watchers, fallen angels turned to stone golems for helping humans expelled from the Garden of Eden and who now help Noah build his ark). At the other end of the creationism divide, it’s easy to acknowledge “Noah” as a literary work of art, but it’s harder to accept the weak acting (especially by Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife, Naameh, and Emma Watson as Ila, Shem’s wife) and at-times sluggish pace. Russell Crowe as Noah is just perfect as the stubborn and tenacious keeper of the world’s animals; his anger at his creator for not giving him guidance is palpable. Also along for the ride is Anthony Hopkins (in a by-now-typical role as a wise old man — here as Methuselah) and Ray Winstone as an evil descendent of Cain who wants to makeover the world in his own profane image. Metaphors abound in this watchable — if not totally enthralling — CGI spectacle. Blu-ray extras: Three behind-the-scenes featurettes: “Iceland: Extreme Beauty,” “The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits” and “The Ark Interior: Animals Two By Two.” Vitals: Director: Darren Aronofsky. Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 137 min., Drama, Box office gross: $99.877 million, Paramount. 3 stars

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