Like the abysmal POMPEII, history in any form flies right out the friggin window and Darren Aronofsky whores himself to make yet another mindless, bloody gore fest literally drowning in CGI. Some rock monsters are an impressive chef-d’oeuvre at first – very Ray Harryhausen – but they take up a good part of the first half monotonously trashing hapless scores of human beings and talking in that by now oh so VERY tired Darth Vader echo chamber voice. Can’t Hollywood come up with any other sound for monsters to make – a real comment on the complete lack of creativity affecting the biz for thirty years now. After the utter piece of vileness that was BLACK SWAN it’s no surprise that the direction is at once two-ton heavy, simplistic and shriekingly obvious. What was surprising is the rapt, quiet reverence with which the all-media press audience took it (as they did BLACK SWAN, which made me conclude: most film “critics” are total idiots), when it should have at least made for an enjoyable hootfest on the order of Taylor Lautner’s ABDUCTION. I felt like the only one making the snide comments it so thoroughly deserved from the first image of an endangered Biblical child wearing a chicly distressed blazer (which was not invented until the 19th century). Russell Crowe sports a butch crewcut which is as risible as the one Kirk Douglas sported in SPARTACUS and gives a monotonously gruff blowhard performance that is exhaustingly weighty. Oh yeah, after his “triumph” in LES MIZ he feels the need to SING again here. Yes, kids, it’s a singing Noah! Jennifer Connelly in – surprise! – a thankless long-suffering wife role make some ubiquitous dramatic choice in here every scene: she weeps. Devout Christians should protest this cretinous comic book retelling of the Bible, while feminists should decry the scene in which, having done good, Connelly actually begs Crowe to “punish” her. Aronofsky brings the overlong film to dead halt in the middle to actually give us his version of The Creation, God help us, and it’s one of the cheesiest Hallmark usages of CGI ever seen. The repetitive droning ear-shattering music score is another low and the Ark itself looks like a giant orange crate on the high seas. Oh, yeah, and the animals are barely even seen. I mean WTF??? Maybe the total lack of applause at the end really spoke the truth, altho I couldn’t resist doing a loud and literal single clap as I exited.
David Noh is a film critic and culture writer, born in Hawaii and currently residing in NYC. You can read his reviews at www.filmjournal.com and follow IN THE NOH, his culture column at www.gaycitynews.com