Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Noah (2014)

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Darren Aronofsky delivers a fantasy epic that isn’t afraid to take risks; strengthened by its large scale, constant suspense and inventive storytelling, led by Russell Crowe who gives yet another memorable performance as the leading man.

Noah rehashes the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, in which a man named Noah (Crowe) is chosen by God to take on a larger than life mission to save the creatures of Earth from an impending flood that will destroy the world.  Along with his two sons (played by Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth), as well as his wife (Jennifer Connolly), grandfather (Anthony Hopkins), and adopted daughter (Emma Watson), Noah must use resources provided from the Earth to build an ark while attempting to fend off a ruthless group of warriors seeking passage.

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Russell Crowe commands the film in his starring role, playing a character who starts out as an innocent man attempting to help his family make their way through the new world.  Throughout the film you start to see sides of Noah that are so heavily influenced by God that he even becomes a threat to those around him.  Emma Watson plays a girl of innocence who struggles with not being able to carry a child.  The legendary Anthony Hopkins takes on the dark, mysterious role of Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather.  Although his scenes are brief and scarce, Hopkins is one of the highlights of the movie.  Strong performances from Jennifer Connolly and Ray Winstone are also spread throughout and add to the suspense and character of the story.

Director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) takes on this massive epic in such a way that you feel as if he has made films this big his whole career.  He uses wide shots to capture a godlike presence, and beautiful scenery filmed in parts of Iceland.  The first half of the movie takes on a larger scale of environment, while the second half is more confined inside the ark.  His transitions between scenes cut between time with a fitting anthological sense.  CGI animals, rock-built creatures called Watchers, and the sequences of the ark taking on the flood steal the show.

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Early reviews from critics have been relatively negative, to which Crowe has spoken out against.  The film has supposedly caused controversy with religious viewers, though put that aside and you should have people who appreciate films of this magnitude.  While running a bit on the long side, clocking in at 2hr 17min, the film stands firmly on its own and proves to be an overall success.

My Rating: 7/10

Written by Josh Sazin on 3/28/14

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