Film review: Noah (6 out of 10)

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This certainly isn’t a new idea, taking stories from the Old Testament and transferring them to the big screen.

However, director Darren Aranofsky has used the story of Noah to beat the audience over the head with a big stick.

Russell Crowe as Noah

Russell Crowe as Noah

We’ll, it certainly felt that way.

We all know the story of Noah - told by God to build an ark for all the animals while mankind would be drowned for living a life of sin.

This film takes that a step further, with the land spoilt by excessive industry, leaving vast swathes of desolate landscape and just stumps of trees left.

This twist has had those favouring the original story in a lather, but the environmental message is more likely to ring true with a wider audience.

This is also an analysis of a man tasked with watching as the rest of mankind is wiped out and his total belief in his role, at the cost of the love of his family.

Russell Crowe in the lead role does extreme angst very well, so we are easily led along Noah’s tough emotional journey.

At the other end of mankind’s spectrum is the king Tubal-cain, played with the gusto you would expect from Ray Winstone.

The monarch is the personification of all things evil with the world.

While the other actors do their best it’s really just these two who keep the film moving along.

And, of course, Anthony Hopkins, as Noah’s grandfather Methusalah, who appears briefly and shows us what top-class acting is all about.

Emma Watson is Noah’s step-daughter Ila and certainly displays plenty of emotion and Jennifer Connelly is good support as Noah’s wife.

But most people will go to see Noah for the flood and Aranofsky doesn’t disappoint, with the destruction of mankind as dramatic as you would expect.

The ark is also impressive - a great hulking wooden contraption based on measurements from the Bible.

Add some fantastical creatures who help create the craft and you have a good cinematic experience.

As for the rights and wrongs of using part of the Bible and putting an environmental spin on it - well I leave that thorny question for you to make your own mind up.

Film details: Noah (12A) 138mins

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ray Winstone, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley