Short Review: It’s good, visuals are incredible, the Old Testament never looked so good.
Before we get to the fact that it doesn’t follow the source material (ya know, the Bible) let’s talk about the movie as just a movie first.
It’s FANTASTIC. The acting is good (can not go wrong with Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly...remember her in Labyrinth? I had a crush on her back then...when I was five....anyway...)
This movie is co-written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also directed The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan and Pi. If you’ve seen any of them (or all of them), you’ll notice a theme...and it’s not a fuzzy, happy, let’s all have a puppy theme. It’s a “hey...identity, death, addiction, psychosis, all part of life, and...yeah...” kind of theme. And he has directed all of these, and Noah, extremely well.
Think of all the horrible things and people that happen in those four movies. Greed, addiction, murder, manipulation...just really crappy people doing crappy things. So, God says to Noah, “Yeah...we’re done. Except you, you’re good, build a boat.”
Noah is not meant to be a Christian movie. It’s not a movie backed by a Christian production company. But I would argue...it’s not “secular”, either. In that I mean, God is not absent from this movie.
He’s not called “God”, but “The Creator”, and is revered and honored by his followers, Noah’s family. If you haven't seen it yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I won’t get into details, but just know that although it doesn’t follow the biblical narrative, if you care about that, it’s ok, you’ll be fine ;)
A little chat about “Christian” Movies
There is a notion among the more conservative Christians (which I am friends with a few and love), that movies that are based on the bible have to follow it perfectly.
This is the same argument that is made about movies based on other books, like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Twilight, or Harry Potter.
The only difference (and I admit, it is a VERY important difference), is that those who believe the Bible is not only inspired by God, but also written by men actually listening to his guidance (BTW, I also believe this), deviating from the original source material in this case is possibly much more of a big deal.
So, not only do we get upset that the dude who we read about in that awesome book, that did that amazing thing that one time, and somehow, the movie version messed it up and changed some detail or completely got the origin story wrong, or whatever.
But some of us who believe in God have this temptation to get upset that a Biblical story, inspired by God, is being changed. And there is that one verse that says:
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” -Revelation 22:18-19
“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”
WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT NATE! HA, GOTCHYA!
Right, well...here’s the thing. A movie...is not the bible.
And I could just stop right there, drop the mic, and be done, but I won’t.
If you are a Christian, and you base your faith on that holy book, we got you covered. You don’t need to get your message, or ideas to base your faith from a movie. If you don’t have a bible, let me see if I can find you one.
Number of total Bibles Printed: 6,001,500,000
So...if you want a medium to learn about God and base your faith on something...get one of the 6 Billion, 1.5 Million Bibles in the world and start reading :P
(This is one minor issue I have with the movie Book of Eli...no freekin’ way we’re going to burn all those bibles).
Sorry to be snide, but let’s look at the history of movies for a bit. Do you remember the last, biggest, awesomest movie based on the bible was? (and don’t say Left Behind, because that was crap).
If you say Passion of the Christ, yes, I would agree. But that wasn’t a “Christian” movie either. It wasn’t backed by a Christian movie production company. Tt was produced by ONE wealthy, Catholic guy who wanted to make that movie for years. (I am in no way saying Catholics are not Christian, nor am I saying Mel Gibson isn’t either. Both are, and I miss Gibson...wish he would do another Mad Max...yes they’re making another Mad Max, no Mel isn’t in it, frowny face).
But do you remember how powerful Passion was!? How many people saw it!? How many people had conversations about that movie? Not every conversation was good, of course, but a lot of them were.
And here’s something you might not know. IT DOESN’T FOLLOW THE BIBLE. The Passion of the Christ is a MOVIE based on all four Gospels, Mel Gibson picked which stories got in there. And not all stories are covered either. Like, the time when the Roman guards found Jesus to take him away from the garden, and they asked which one was Jesus, and Jesus replied “I am He,” and everyone fell the crap to the ground, remember that!? Why wasn’t THAT story in that epic, hollywood movie! Dah!
And remember Satan walking around, with that creepy little person, pretending to be his/her baby, mocking Jesus? That wasn’t in the Bible...but it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities, after all, despite popular belief, Satan doesn’t rule Hell, but Earth. It would make sense that He would show up and mock the savior of the world.
Before The Passion of the Christ, the only epic, Hollywood size budget movie that I can think of is The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston. We have to go back THAT far to get something that big and that awesome.
But even that wasn’t accurate either. Remember all those times when Charlton Heston was talking...yeah, none of that crap was in the Bible. Heston played Moses, but if you recall, Moses was too chicken because of his speech impediment and had to have have Aaron talk for him.
But a huge, epic movie wouldn’t be all that epic if you have one guy, the dude who can talk directly to God, whisper in the ear of some other guy, then THAT guy says “This is what God said, to that guy, and now I will repeat it because...God has spoken!”
Seriously, that would be lame.
Ok, I’m rambling, what the hell is my point. (I can say hell, because I did before, and you didn’t make a fuss).
My point is, movies are not great at presenting facts, strictly speaking. Even the one’s based on “actual events”, or “based on a true story”, are usually bullshit anyway.
Here’s just a few, if you’re interested:
But movies are GREAT at giving us a teachable lesson, or a moral.
So, breaking this all down, what is the original moral of Noah?
(I’m going to mess this up, so, if there are pastors reading this, feel free to correct me)
God created the whole world, including people. Most of those people became just terrible, and God was sad that He had made them. All maner of commandments were being broken, even the minor one’s like “Don’t turn left in front of ten other cars”, or “Texting while having dinner.”
So, God sent the flood to kill everyone and start the frick over. Only the animals, Noah and his family were saved. Then, God sent the rainbow as a promise that he would never again kill everybody off like that again.
All of this is still in this new movie called Noah. Yes, there are a ton of new stuff that is not in the bible, and some stuff that it just changed, but the original point, the original meaning and moral are still there.
I better quit while I’m behind.
But one more thing. When I saw the movie 300, about Spartans totally kicking ass...I thought, “What about Samson from the Bible?” The 300 hundred Spartans killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, with spears, swords and shields. Samson killed 1,000, by himself, with a donkey jawbone. THAT would be a sweet awesome movie. Hollywood, make that movie!
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Here's what Movie Bob thinks, and I agree: