August 11, 2014

Movie Review: Noah

Most of the time, movies are made up stories that only have to compete with reason and authenticity in order for watchers to be adequately entertained. Other times, they have to compete with their made-up story/novel predecessor, or even worse a real-life person in history.

Then there are the epic stories. The bible stories. Though, when reading them in the bible, the “epic” part is often left more in our imaginations than in the actual telling. But, the human mind has a peculiar predilection to, shall we say, fill in the blanks when and where it must. After all, we must justify our choices, explain away inconsistencies as if we were fighting off bandits attacking our homes and families.

But, despite all this, the re-telling of Noah in this movie goes much further than simply filling in the blanks. Hollywood has instead chosen to take this bible story and remake it in their own image (rather than God’s). Well, of course they did. Would you expect anything different? Nope.

There has to be an accounting, though. The frequent missteps, the embedded agendas, the gratuitous violence and drama, all just to make it screen worthy. Hey, I’m all for liberal interpretations of bible stories. I’m a fan of City of Angels and The Prophecy. I’m even working on my own revisionist biblical series called Sacred. Glass house and all that, probably should drop the stones? Naw. Criticism is the hallmark of writing and story telling.

So, we begin with the building of the ark and the creative tension building they put there, the struggle to find wives for the two younger boys, and the beginning of Noah’s slip off into whacko land, thinking the human race was supposed to be wiped out, and only the animals were to survive.

The fallen angels were an interesting take, made of rock, lumbering around, yet able to do karate at the drop of a hat. Nice. It’s interesting how gaps are being filled in, how the angels were responsible for doing the heavy lifting in the construction. Of course, they left out that it took nearly 75 years to build the boat in the first place.

Another major issue in the bible (not found in the movie) was that God supernaturally sealed Noah and his family in the boat at the time of the flood. There was also no technologically driven barren landscape that had to be magically rejuvenated before they could start building.

But, more grossly repugnant than any of it, is the story Noah tells once they are aboard, the semi-glossy, revisionist Creation Story – a thinly veiled bible story that was universally evolutionary in its depth and scope. They really do fallow the adage, “Tell a long enough and people will begin to believe it.” All hands on deck. There’s still a few Creationists in the
midst. Hit them over the head again with that big Darwin stick, won’t you?

So, on the boat, we find the middle son’s wife trampled before she could even get on the boat (in fact, before he could even marry her). The third boy was too young to marry. Oh well. This is all replaced with the stowaway, who serves no real purpose, other than to pit father against son, and call an excuse for a big fight scene toward the end of the movie.

It’s always ironic, how liberals paint double strokes when telling Christian stories. In their spin, Noah is not a man of righteousness, as he is depicted in the bible. In the movie, he is mistaken more than he is correct, he is led astray through most of the second half, only to be utterly lost at the end. In fact, throughout the movie, Noah is made the scape goat for just about every bath thing that happens. Tubal-Cain blames him for not giving them a spot on the ship. His sons and their adopted daughter blame him for not trying to rescue the drowning people outside. His wife not only blames him for their situation, but threatens to leave him if he kills their soon to be born granddaughter. I’m sorry. They’ve already had enough proof. The spring of water that turned a barren valley into a lush, tropical forest, should be enough to convince everyone around him that whatever Noah says, goes. But, I guess not.

In the end, it was a really nice story. I can’t imagine it did very well at the box office (actually, it did quite well: $125 million to make, grossed over $300 million world wide). As usual, people like the idea of bible content, but just not the actual content itself. If you lean toward literalism, then you are branded a zealot or an extremist (the movie was banned in the Middle East).

It was okay. I wouldn’t pay anything to watch it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s