Bottom Line: THE LORD OF THE RINGS meets MAD MAX by way of THE FOUNTAIN in this ambitiously gritty and semi-spiritually warped tackling of the famed biblical story… NOAH is a movie that – more than anything else – deserves to be experienced with an open mind. It’s a fairly fascinating, thought provoking and epic in scope exploration of beliefs, duty, doubt and free will. A story of selfishness vs. selflessness that folds together balanced thoughts on creationism, evolutionism and environmentalism. Aesthetically stunning and uncompressing inventive in its vision, director Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER) has created a big budget, major studio art-house flick that encourages discussion and debate - something very few movies do these days. …and with scenes boldly swinging from a heady, stylized, Terrence Malick-ian minimalism to a computer-generated Michael Bay-esque overindulgence, this flick boldly ricochets between wildly inventive and overtly tame. The cast all do a fine job but it’s the Crowe show and he shines as a man staying loyal, stoic and mired in in his convictions as he tries to keep to his spiritual path. There are bumps along the way – it’s a tad slow at times and the third act possesses multiple storylines all playing out a little too conveniently, with questionable main character motives and a rushed atmosphere. This primordial, non-preachy and vividly imaginative approach, however, should help ensure that theaters are flooded with moviegoers as NOAH reigns supreme at the box office this weekend.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte and Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and THE FOUNTAIN)
Running time: 139 minutes
Studio description: Russell Crowe stars as Noah in the film inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice and hope. Directed by visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (c) Paramount
Official site: www.noahmovie.com