Russell Crowe seems to be content trying to create a filmography that would make him a titan if only it were generations earlier. “Gladiator” and “Robin Hood” were large-scale period films that sought to recall the grandeur of “Ben-Hur.” Since then, he’s been working away at smaller films, saving the tent-poles to more interested men. Until this weekend, when Crowe channels another period with “Noah.”
Crowe plays the man known throughout history for his ark. Opening with a brief background of what has occurred prior, we come across a peasant boy and his father. While performing a rite of passage, Noah’s father is slain and forces his family to live in hiding. Years later, after becoming a husband and father of three boys, Noah has a vision for The Creator: a great flood will cleanse the world and its wickedness. The Creator tasks Noah with building an ark to survive the storm and shepherd two of each animal to a world safe from their innocence.
Many are familiar with the story of Noah, as the story and the controversial discovery of the ark are topics that constantly cause turmoil in a religious debate. A lot of communities are using their influence to discourage seeing the movie without actually seeing the finished product. Though controversy can be a good thing, being critical of something without understanding it sadly exists at the core of each of us, something that the film touches on.
“Noah” is a film rich in scenery and grandeur. Deviations from the source material notwithstanding, the story is still fixed in the world of faith, love, and celebration of nature. It may turn off some by how the events unfold, but Crowe carries the film with the conviction we’ve come to expect of him. Call this the third part of Crowe’s moments in history. It pails before “Gladiator,” but curious moviegoers will find a solid story that survives most of its unnecessary endings. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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