Noah Wants to Be a Mad Epic

The Wrestler director goes biblical with CG blockbuster.

Russell Crowe gets biblical in a would-be epic.
Russell Crowe gets biblical in a would-be epic.



Rated PG-13.

Noah gets some brief jolts of life from Anthony Hopkins as wrinkly old Methuselah, and from Nick Nolte, who provides the weary, grizzled voice for one of the rock people. Yet Aronofsky blows what should be the greatest scene, the one in which the animals are loaded into the ark: They're a mass of gray and brown creatures viewed mostly from above, their great variety of size, shape, color, and temperament hardly in evidence. That's a long way from John Huston's Noah tootling his flute as camels, giraffes, goats, and a few tigers placidly step onto his attractive (if not so watertight-looking) boat in The Bible: In the Beginning. Aronofsky doesn't want to instill wonder; he's more interested in drab yet expensive-looking wrath. He's made a movie about judgment that itself feels judgmental. Like his Creator giving mixed signals to his poor servants, he doesn't seem to think much of his audience. He ordered them moved, and lo, they were moved. If only it were that easy.

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