We live in a country where we are all free to believe in whatever we would like, and I have no issues with people who live their lives according to the “good book.” However, I am not what you would call a religious person.  I’m mentioning this because I want you to know that I had zero predetermined feelings towards the new film, Noah. I walked into the movie looking to be entertained and wasn’t so worried about a holy experience with the new film. As a child, my parents would drag me to Sunday school, but at no point do I remember the story of Noah being as wild and entertaining as Darren Aronofsky’s new film!

Noah is a story most people were told as children. Noah (Russell Crowe) is chosen by his creator to save a pair of each animal by building a humongous, wooden ark which would subsequently save them from the Biblical flood. I remember the whole animal and wooden ship part of the story, but what I didn’t remember was all of the supernatural powers present in the story – aside from the whole supreme-being advice of building the life boat part. Noah is full of rock creatures, sorcerers and prehistoric beasts that look as though they have come straight out of The Lord of the Rings. Besides all of the people drowning, I also don’t remember a great deal of swordplay and violence in the classic story. This version of Noah has a good amount of well-done action scenes, including a massive battle as the floods begin. Who knew Noah was such a bad ass?

Darren Aronofsky proves that he can step out of the indie art house and direct a studio epic like Noah. Aronofsky’s trademark weirdness is at a minimum but when he does give his strange touch as filmmaker, it works out superbly in the visuals of Noah. Though I stated before that I’m not a Biblical expert, it did seem Aronofsky could have been sending mixed messages to believers and non-believers with some of the liberties he took with this story. Regardless, the film kept me engaged and I’ll leave it up to the viewer to over-think Aronofsky’s imagery.

Helping Aronofsky turn Noah into something more than just a run of the mill disaster flick was its stellar cast lead by Russell Crowe as the man with a message from God. Crowe makes up for his silly performance in Winter’s Tale delving deep into Noah’s psyche, showing a different side to the captain of the Ark. Aronofsky adds a twist to the story (that I won’t spoil) which shows why Crowe is still one of our best actors, even after working with a few recent flops under his belt. Frequent Crowe and Aronofsky collaborator, Jennifer Connelly gives a strong performance as Noah’s supportive, but torn, wife. The award-winning cast is well-equipped to handle Noah‘s deeper moments throughout the third act in the film- no pun intended.

Overall, I give Noah 3 out of 4 stars. 

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