Friday, 6 May 2016

Noah (2014)



I admit it has been a long time since I read the bible but I really don't remember the story of Noah including a battle between giant rock angels and an army of guys with magic guns.

Of course, if this was the only innovation in the film's narrative, I'd probably like it a lot more than I did.  But no, shortly after said battle, the movie decides that what we really need is twenty minutes of "Noah, wannabe baby murderer".

You see, the film posits that Noah sees the wickedness of humanity and decides that there is no option but to let us all die out.  He figures this isn't going to be too hard since he has three sons, none of whom are married, and an adopted daughter who is barren due to a childhood injury.  So they'll get on the ark, survive the flood, and then slowly die out due to the lack of any breeding opportunities.

This plan comes unstuck when the adopted daughter turns out to be not so barren at all.  Noah, horrified at the thought that she may bear a daughter and thus provide more wives for his sons (yes, the movie really goes there), so he decides to kill the kid if it is a girl.

Now I realise this is probably a reference to the story of Abraham and Isaac, but it is a terrible idea on a number of levels.  You're going to annoy people who value the original story (in the bible, Noah's sons all have grown wives who come onto the ark with them).  You're going to destroy sympathy for Noah with those members of the audience who care about babies (which I'm reliably informed is quite a lot of folks).  And frankly, it's transparently obvious he's not going to do it since if he succeeds it means the end of the human race.  And well ... I think you'd really hear some howls if you re-wrote a bible story to do that.

Not even giant rock angels can save this from sinking under its own stupid in the last act.

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