Matt Adcock’s film review: Noah is big, bold, brave and will blow you away

“Fire consumes all, water cleanses…”

Stand by to have any Sunday School recollections of Noah blown apart as Russell Crowe brings a man of unswerving, world-saving faith to the big screen in a life-changing epic biblical drama.

Noah

Noah

Based on the graphic novel rather than the Bible, Noah is a God-fearing ‘Gladiator’ - an inspirational story of courage, sacrifice and hope that delivers huge spectacle with a beating heart of love.

Dark and dangerous, violent and powerful, visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky retells the Old Testament tale with incredible visuals, a triple A list cast and a wider dimension of the entire fall and salvation greater narrative that is core to the Bible itself.

If you’re coming to Noah without much clue about the plot, it’s that God or ‘The Creator’ is angry and intends to wipe us all out because we’ve corrupted the world and turned to against Him.

Cue flood to be sent that will remove all life from the planet – so Noah (Crowe) and his family must build an ark, gather two of every living animal species and start anew after the waters have receded.

Into this ark-pocalypse Aronofsky introduces his wild card extrapolation of angels (fallen ones) who have been condemned to walk the earth covered in rocks so they look like 12 foot rock golems whose heavenly fire can only be glimpsed through their eyes. These creatures – called ‘Watchers’ – are superb creations, very handy to have around if you can befriend them when you need to build a huge ark or defend it against an angry army of sinners, led with vigour by Tubal-Cain (Ray ‘Bet 365’ Winstone).

Crowe is excellent in the tricky lead role, portraying Noah as a driven man, who harbours darkness in his heart despite being chosen to save mankind.

Jennifer Connelly is good as his wife, Anthony Hopkins is quality as Noah’s grandfather Methuselah and there’s Emma ‘Harry Potter’ Watson on hand as adopted daughter Ila.

The plot includes an unexpected climatic battle between Watchers and warriors in the middle before moving on to the intense dark drama of life on the ark itself before the finale.

Noah is a gritty adaptation and a fascinating ‘what if’ wrath-of-God-em-up that shows how the Bible can inspire cinematic creativity and art that becomes something challenging and wonderful in its own right. Recommended.