You know you just don’t see many biblical epics any more. The heyday for them was really back in the 1950s and 60s when cinemascope allowed directors to really show off these huge ancient worlds. These days, if you even dare attempt a biblical story… well most likely you’ll attract a bunch of ire from all kinds of folks. It’s a shame really, because for a film score fan, biblical epics provide some of the best Golden age film scores ever written. But I digress. Because honestly I didn’t think we’d get a Ben Hur style score from a biblical film directed by Darren Aronofsky.
You think you know the story of Noah (Russell Crowe) but you don’t know the fantasy adventure version of the story. Yes, Noah is told by his god that humans must be destroyed in a flood (via some really cool and surreal imagery). After confirming the vision with his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), Noah starts working on his ark with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) by his side.
As some family drama begins to affect the progress on the ark, a band of devious humans lead by Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) fear that Noah may be right, and decide to build an army to take the ark. Why an army? You see Noah isn’t alone working on his construction; he has some enormous rock monsters (no, I’m not kidding) helping him out. But even if Noah survives the attack by the children of Cain, can he survive his own self-doubt? As the voyage continues Noah becomes more and more convinced that all human kind must die – including him and his family.
- A serious attempt at biblical characters facing the end of their world
- Some very good acting by the entire cast
- Impressive visual effects
- Fantasy imagery ripped right from Jackson’s vision of Lord of the Rings
- Gritty, dower and dreary… again
- Clint Mansell’s score is distracting, in a bad way
I appreciate the idea of turning a biblical story into a full-fledged mythic event film. Basically this is your Clash of the Titans version of the Noah story. As neat as that is in concept, for some reason the final product doesn’t mesh. Turning Noah into an angst ridden, angry, bitter man feels like this film is aping Batman Begins. With the relentlessly dreary visual overtones and scenes cribbed right from The Two Towers it feels like a mish mash of other movies instead of being its own thing. I admire Aronofsky as a director, because his films feel very much like they are his own. This one… not so much.
Scores (out of 5)
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