3 reasons 'Noah' misses the mark - New York News

3 reasons 'Noah' misses the mark

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By: John Clyde, KSL

THE ARK - We're on the doorstep of the summer movie season and many have eyed the release of Darren Aronofsky's “Noah” as the first big film of the summer.

While “Noah” is big, expensive and flashy, it totally misses the mark. And if this is a precursor of what we should expect this summer, then we're in for a long and rough four months.

“Noah” is a movie about which audiences need to decide what they think for themselves, but here are three reasons you should just skip the film.

Can't make up its mind

It seems as if Aronofsky couldn't decide if he wanted to make a supernatural-fantasy film in the vein of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy or a retelling of the religious story from Genesis.

Watching the film I realized if Aronofsky had just embraced one of those two routes, either the fantasy or the religious, the movie could have played well and had a coherent narrative and purpose. Instead, the director tried to play with a foot in both camps and the film sank.

There are moments that are overtly religious then get blindsided by magic. Then viewers get comfortable with the fact that Noah and the other “believers” are in a supernatural realm and suddenly a religious aspect is reintroduced.

The film is all over the map and couldn't decide which direction to go.

Long

I am not one who immediately throws out a film because of its running time. Some films lend themselves to longer running times, such as “The Dark Knight,” “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Right Stuff.”

“Noah” does not fall in this category.

The film is nearly 2 1/2 hours long, and it feels longer. The story moves along slowly building up to the deluge we have been waiting for, which only passes in the blink of an eye to make way for the “drama” that plays out on the ark.

Again, I am not against longer films, but only when the length merited.

Bizarre

When the news broke that Aronofsky was directing “Noah” many knew the film would be somewhat bizarre.

Those familiar with the director's works know he has a flair for the strange, and, to his credit, he often does it in a beautiful and challenging way. That knack for the different dried up in “Noah.”

The film takes odd turns and the visual style seems to get confused with the story it's trying to tell.

I have no problems with bizarre films if they're done well. I loved “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Primer,” bizarre flicks indeed, but “Noah” can't manage to harness its own bizarre elements.

Redeeming quality: The cast

While the film as a whole is disappointing, one of its redeeming qualities is the cast.

Russell Crowe is good, as always, but it's Emma Watson and Logan Lerman who really demand attention.

Hermione Granger is all grown up and it turns out she's a great actor. Watson has some of the most real and emotional moments in the film and this is really her time to shine.

Lerman, who starred alongside Watson in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” ends up being one of the most interesting characters, playing Noah's son Ham. Lerman isn't new to Hollywood, but his performance in “Noah” should help him become a household name.

Another strong performance comes from Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife, Naameh. Connelly has a moment that is so real and so emotional that it becomes uncomfortable because you feel as if you're watching an actual couple as they fight.

I'm sure that sounds strange, but that moment in the film is powerful and intense and it's all thanks to Connelly's performance.

Many will like “Noah” and its unique take on a well-known story, but for me the film drifted off course and forgot where it was headed.

"Noah" is rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and violence, which is actually quite heavy and at times disturbing.


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Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

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