Let me make it clear from the beginning, I do not care if a movie like this is 100% true to the bible and I could not care less about the creationist fanatics moaning about how this and that movie is telling the wrong story or is distorting their religion. But this attempt to re-tell the story is just bad.
The first half of the movie is not all bad. It is actually somewhat enjoyable. The dark scenery is sometimes depressing and beautiful at the same time. I did like the watchers. It added a bit of extra to the movie and the fight when Tubal-Cain tried to capture the ark was not bad at all.
However, then it went downhill quickly with Noah going more and more nuts and Tubal-Cain, having survived, is subverting Noah’s son Ham. Not that Noah did not really bring that upon himself to some extent though. The parts where Noah want to kill his grandchildren and stops in the last minute is just Hollywood soap-opera bullshit. Also, do not get me started about the ridiculous scene where Anthony Hopkins goes berry hunting like some mental retard.
Up until about half the movie I did not really understand all the very negative reviews but after having watched through the miserable last half I have to say that I do understand them more. I think the one-star ones are a bit harsh since the movie is often quite beautiful and the acting, despite the crappy script, is quite good, but the lousy script is just destroying the movie.
Definitely a disappointment.
This is a hard movie to watch and rate.
The Good: The images of the flood coming from both above and below the earth were spectacular. The trauma that Noah deals with during the flood and post-flood is beautifully depicted. I loved the image of Noah realizing that the ‘sickness’ is in him as well as the others. The story-telling of creation to fall to the flood was beautifully done. I also liked the tension of Noah and the family on the ark as they wrestle with the possibility that the Creator has forgotten them.
So with all that good, what ruins the movie?
I do think a director/writer has an obligation to the source material. Subtract the religious aspect of this movie and imagine the outrage if someone changed the story of Harry Potter or Thor. (Oh wait…they are doing that.)
Point is: if you have source material, use it. Go ahead and be creative when there are blanks to fill in but why have source material if you're not going to use it? The director did merge two ancient flood stories – the Bible and the Babylonian Enuma Elish. In the end – neither tradition gets a clear telling of their story.
Other issues? The role of Methusala was a complete waste of the talented Anthony Hopkins. And I still have no idea as to why he was even in the film.
The conclusion felt hollow and rushed. Noah at the beginning of the film leads an isolationist lifestyle focused on raising his children to be good stewards of the earth. How is this different at the end of the film? It's not. Their understanding of life, the Creator, the world isn't any different than the beginning. There really isn't a pay off to the story...at all.
It's just an average film and I expected more with this cast.