I had heard much and read a little about Noah before it debuted this weekend. One of my church members told me Sunday that it was “different” so I armed myself with the largest Diet Coke they sold and found my seat.
My initial reaction was a desire to throw my hands up and cry “Foul!” I thought better of it and will simply do so here.
Last year when I first heard this movie would release it was on the heels of other Bible related press releases. The biblical account begins here and runs through chapter 10. As far as this movie is concerned, there was a man named Noah who had a family and built a boat. There was a flood and everyone died except for Noah and his family. After that the film leaves the Bible and escapes into fantasy.
If one were able to just watch this movie without the Bible in mind it is not a horrible screenplay. There are masterful effects, great tension and drama, and a cataclysmic end-of-the-world-yet-reborn ending. But this story is too well-known. The director has made it clear his intentions are to explore that which is not presented in Scripture.
Manners and Customs
The appropriate biblical setting would be the stone age. This movie uses post apocalyptic imagery and tools. There seems to be no attempt in keeping with Middle Eastern looks. The people are wearing pants, boots, and jackets which are not period choices. Basically, this director makes no attempt in accuracy which does not surprise me. The character Noah uses an elder son style blessing but places it on a female, which would never have happened.
Very little of this script can be found in Scripture. While the producers want you to believe it is based on Scripture, I would say very loosely. Creation is presented accurately. Genealogy is presented accurately. Noah, his wife and 3 sons is also accurate. God wanted Noah to build a boat to save his family and the animals from the flood. Fallen angels and giants walking the Earth are transformer-esque rocks. Fine. I can’t explain it really either. Then the movie takes a distinctly liberal approach in its explanation of things. There is much mysticism and sorcery. The 3 sons are not married going on the boat and this is a glaring oversight that causes further issues. The stowaway is complicated because this is the onus for Ham’s rebellious attitude later. The stress of Noah having to make a choice between love and mercy was never his to make. God already made this choice. Noah was to be but a willing participant. Noah’s martyr complex is unfathomable. Could he have faced depression after hearing the screams? Sure. But opting to choose a pathway of infanticide is more than egregious.
Had the names been different there would be little to discuss. If it had been titled “Madman on the High Seas” that would at least have reduced the expectations. However, there are enough references to Scripture that the liberties cannot be overlooked. The goal seems to have been to make the most unbiblical movie of a biblical event and in that there was success. Should you watch this movie? I would wait for a cheap rental and even then be aware that this is not the two-by-two you want it to be and it is not family friendly. Why pay big money for a bigger letdown?