In the beginning, God created Heaven and Earth. It’s unclear from the original text as to when he created giant rock monsters but fast forward to 2014 and Darren Aronofski released the film, Noah. While God took 7 days to create the World, Aronofski’s reboot of God’s epic took 14 years (screenplay to release) and cost $130 million. We can only speculate over God’s budget for the original but given his work was antediluvian, we can assume it must have been on a relative shoestring.
Perhaps a direct comparison is not fair. While Darrenofski is one of the few modern Directors to be consistently given a sizeable budget to fulfil a singular vision, God had complete autonomy (and omnipotence).
So comparisons aside, does Darrenofski’s flick sink or float? For all the epic scale, special effects and aforementioned giant rock monsters of the first act, Noah is most engaging when it develops into a story of a family rent asunder by a father’s will to do what he believes is right.
It is this second act, set wholly within the ark in which all supporting actors shine in their portrayals of various family members torn between ultimate sacrifice and the protection of innocence. Crowe’s performance is adept as the conflicted-come murderous father and far more rewarding for me than the well-trodden fight scenes of Act 1.
But as engaging as the second act is, it will remain for me the only memorable element of a film which is hindered more than helped by its epic scale. Perhaps both auteurs could have benefitted from reigning in their vision slightly, after all God did create Michael Bay.