I’m the “little guy” who wrote a blog post critiquing an early draft of the Noah script because of my own research into the subject matter. Well, when things went south in the studio screenings of the movie with religious audiences, the blood hound media scoured the internet for negative quotes, found my post, and it went viral.
I thus became Satan for Paramount and its elitist director of dark unsympathetic sick and twisted heroes, Darren Aronofsky.
I finally saw the movie. And now I know why Paramount and its hired Christian marketers would not let me into an early screening to correct my analysis of the early script of Noah.
Because I was right.
Not only that, but the differences between the script and the final movie are so negligible that I won’t have to change a single word of my critique. Just go back and read that and you’ll get the sick twisted agenda that seeps through every frame of this movie.
Wait. I take it back. It’s actually worse than the script.
But right up front, I apologize for giving so much time and attention to preparing people to watch the movie with a thoughtful eye to see what is good first and then describe the bad. Sometimes movies are so bad that what little good in them is so overwhelmed it’s like – well, like being drowned. My problem was I took it too seriously.
The Noah movie is ugly. It’s anti-human exceptionalism. It’s enviro-agitprop. And it’s poorly done. I can’t recommend this movie, not just because of it’s godawful theology (or should I say “earthology”), but because it’s godawful filmmaking. Like The Last Temptation of Christ. All the controversy overshadowed the fact that it was just plain terrible storytelling. Same here.
And people complain about Christian movies being so bad because they are agenda driven while suffering from poor storytelling and preachiness. Well, how about a new term: “Bad atheist movies” that suffer from poor storytelling and preachiness.
I have to say something to all those Christian leaders and film critics who saw the early screenings and kept defending the movie, saying in reference to my viral blog post, “The movie is different, the movie is different. You can’t talk about the movie cause you haven’t seen it.”
Shame on you. Shame on you because you knew when you were saying it, that it wasn’t true and I was right. You were tools. And Aronofsky is laughing at you behind your backs. He’s subverting your sacred story and he’s not even doing it well, but you’re still supporting it. I spoke up for the truth, but you wouldn’t, and you led me like a sheep to the… Okay, maybe I’m not that righteous. I’ve lied before too. As the movie Noah would say, “meat-eating is in all of us” or something like that.
Was Anything in it Good?
Well, uh… the movie captures a visual picture of the Flood that has never before been captured. That’s cool. Bursting waters, a Doré homage of people on a mountaintop being pulled into the rising waters. Okay, Flannel graph successfully overthrown. I liked that.
Oh, and uh people are shown as really evil so they deserved to die. That’s true. (Even though the evil is really more about meat-eating than anything else.)
Okay, now I want to talk about what I didn’t like about it.
“On the nose” dialogue. Flat characters that you just don’t care about. A sick twisted hero that you just don’t care about. Look, I know your hero has to have a character flaw, but this is so extreme that you can’t stand Noah, and you just want to leave the theater.
Noah becomes so convinced that the wickedness of man is in everyone (that is the original sin of being bad to animals and the earth – and did I say meat-eating, you carnivores?) that they all deserve to die, including his family — and then Noah becomes obsessed with killing his newborn granddaughters on the ark. Of course he doesn’t. That’s good. Whew. Not. Good. Enough.
Aronofsky gave us his “brilliant” portrayals of sick twisted drug addicts, sick twisted wrestlers, and sick twisted ballerinas. And now, in a fit of creative originality, a sick twisted Noah! Do you think maybe there’s a pattern here that might say something more about Aronofsky than anything else?
The fact that Noah wrestles with justice and mercy through the story is a good thematic idea. Justice without mercy is cruelty, but mercy without justice is also cruelty. But as Aronofsky said in an interview Noah’s journey is God’s journey of being so judgmental that he has to learn mercy. Because you see, Aronofsky has said he is a humanist. Humanists believe man is the measure of all things and man is not created in God’s image, God is created in man’s image. So it makes sense within his atheism to portray God as learning to be more merciful since God is merely an extension of man’s own imagination.
Remember when I said the script has Noah as a humanist who is more compassionate than God because he just can’t bring himself to kill his family like God wanted him to? Still in there. Yep.
Cliché stereotypical bad guy. Now whenever you want to know who a storyteller hates, look at his bad guy’s belief system and rationale and you’ll find a comparison to a modern day counterpart. Okay, so Tubal-cain is the bad guy. He is an urban “industrialist” (the movie calls the cities, “industrial”) who mines the earth for resources, claims property rights to owning land, hunts animals, eats meat, uses a primitive gun (I’m not kidding you, he probably got it from ancient aliens), he keeps emphasizing that man is created in the image of God and superior to the animals, and that we are supposed to subdue them and have dominion over them. All this while he rapes, murders, pillages and eats meat. So that kind of thinking is supposed to lead to that kind of evil behavior, got it? Sooooo, let’s see, who are those in todays’ world that believe in industry, mining for energy, private property rights, in hunting, guns, and say that God created man in his image to have dominion. Tubal–cain is basically an evil caricature of Judeo-Christian Western civilization. Seeing behind the shallow stereotype of evil reveals as much about the storyteller’s perception of what worldview he considers leads to such evil.
Christians, you are tools being played if you think that this movie is anything BUT a subversion of the Biblical God and an exaltation of environmentalism and animal rights against humans. Those who say that hurting the earth is just part of the sins of mankind in the story are missing the deeper point. No matter what “sins” of man that are portrayed in this story, they are only expressions of the ultimate sin, which is to sin against the earth. Every time it talks about man’s sin and God’s intent, the context is always “creation” not God, and not man as God’s image. The guy who preaches “man as God’s image” is the villain. “Creation” as in “Nature” is the metanarrative here, NOT God.
For those of you Christians who are fooling yourselves, just ask yourself this: Does Aronofsky believe in the God of the Bible as holy or in the earth as holy? I think you know the answer. And it ain’t both.
The very first thing said and repeated later is “In the beginning, there was nothing.” Now folks, Aronofsky is an atheist. He is subverting your Creation narrative that says “In the Beginning God…” not “Nothing.” Atheism believes that everything came out of nothing. And they say Creationists believe in irrational anti-science fairy tales!
Even in the end, Aronofsky’s humanism subverts God when Noah has his revelation about God’s purpose. Why didn’t God tell him whether or not to kill those little granddaughters so that the human race would never again corrupt Mother Earth? He kept asking, but God was silent. His daughter-in-law tells him “because he wanted you to decide if man was worth saving.” You see, it’s all up to man. God is not the one to decide if man is worth saving, MAN is. Because of course, in Aronofsky’s humanistic atheistic universe, God is only a belief, not a real being, and man must make the ultimate decisions of value and dignity.
Well, I say no thank you Mr. Atheist. That leads to guillotines, gulags, and gas chambers – which were all spearheaded by ATHEISTS.
Aronofsky has hijacked the Biblical narrative and subverted it to preach his secular humanistic atheist enviro-worship. He said himself that the story is just a myth that he turned into a prop for environmentalism. But its not even good preaching. It’s cheesy atheist preaching.
I found it telling that the movie that stresses so much about how bad meat-eating is, would fail to include the fact that God himself killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve, and that righteous Abel sacrificed animals as worship to God. He was after all, a shepherd of herds. And lastly that regardless of any alleged vegetarianism before the Flood, God decreed after the Flood that all living things were good for man – to – EAT! In the Bible, Noah was a member of PETA all right: People Eating Tasty Animals. But of course, that doesn’t fit the environmentalist/animal rights agenda. THAT God is evil to them. But you can see where all the attacks against Christians for nitpicking “unbiblical details” is not an entirely fair accusation. Because sometimes, those details are changed because the director is subverting the story to spin it to his ideological agenda against the text.
I heard Mr. Aronofsky is a vegan. He better be, after watching the hate fest against meat-eating in this movie. I’d like to invite him over to an animal rights barbecue to discuss the moral and intellectual impoverishment of atheistic humanism. And I would love to learn how he powered that movie set and production with solar and wind power. Must have been a real miracle. Oh, you mean he burned fossil fuels to make the movie, just like Tubal-cain? Oh, that’s right; Celebrities get a Green pass for their conspicuously Nephilim-sized carbon footprints.
But the topper has got to be the Rock People. They are supposed to be the Watchers that fell from heaven and took on cooled magma as their bodies, and now they are helping Noah. But they look like goofy ancient Transformers who, instead of transforming into cool cars and trucks, just transform into – well, rocks. They completely make you suspend your suspension of disbelief because they are so goofy. Remember Jar Jar Binks? Yep, that bad. I won’t even go into how wrong Aronofsky got the Watchers, which were bad guys in the Biblical and Jewish legends, but he makes them good guys! But that’s in my earlier critique.
The special effects, from the weak opening graphics to the alien-like luminescent bodies of Adam and Eve, to the most unscary serpent I have ever seen in a movie, to the silly looking large Rock People, the visual imagery is that of a B-grade movie. Where did that $130 million go? To Solyndra and Al Gore? You watch the movie asking yourself, is the director trying to make some kind of “artistic statement” by using cheap looking special effects? Or is he just so used to making low budget movies that he doesn’t know how to do it any better?
But in the end, Noah does realize his extremism was all wrong and that he should “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” So maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe Aronofsky is a crypto-Christian who is secretly trying to show that atheist environmentalism is obviously insane and immoral and leads to murdering humans in the name of compassion to animals and the earth.
Or maybe, like today’s environmentalist anti-human exceptionalism, he cannot see the irrational contradictions of his own beliefs that deconstruct.
At least Avatar, with its naked pagan earth worship, has a ring of more authenticity than trying to subvert someone else’s sacred narrative with silly rock people and bad guys who cling to their guns and eat meat. But also because Avatar is just a well made pagan movie.
Noah is a poorly made atheist movie. Noah tanks.
P.S. I am not now, nor have I ever been a card carrying member of the oil company cartel.
35 comments on “Deconstructing Noah’s Arc: Godawful Storytelling”
Why do we Christians make such a big deal about this (I am hearing from other Christians and non-Christians alike)?
Could it be that the film describes a god who is not the God of the Bible? That because of the distortion it leads non-believers AWAY from the real God, AWAY from the real Jesus?
The argument that the movie can be used to “start dialogue” can be said of ANY film. Every film has a worldview, a moral perspective, thus meeting that criteria.
A scarier danger here is Christian leaders who support the film as Biblical, as accurately portraying God, accurately portraying the Truth of God, when apparently (and I’ve yet to see it) it wildly misses that mark.
Those leaders are going to have some splainin’ to do, either on this side or the other.
Thanks for letting me know, I won’t be wasting my money on this. I really hope this movie bombs.
Brian Godawa: truly fair and balanced. Seriously, you are such a trusted and fair reviewer.
Just today, my 10 year old son saw the movie trailer and said, with a perplexed look on his face, ‘Dad, that’s not how the story goes.’ This review validates my 10 year old son’s observation –> bad storytelling.
Thanks for this review.
Thank you for the review I won’t waste my time seeing this trashy movie. I can’t believe some Christians thought it was thought provoking and even thought maybe it happened that way!!!
You are spot on. Worst movie I’ve ever seen! Wish I had seen this sooner
I love the review but could you please just update the title of the blog and spell it ARK? (Unless is was intentional but if it was I don’t see the connection.)
Wow! You truly did an amazing job on this movie! Thank you!
Obvious atheist director is obvious. Well, to some of us at least.
There must be some pathological illness at play for professing Christian leaders (and their followers) to defend a movie that blatantly subverts a biblical story and changes it into a veritable advertisement for PETA. Why, because the special effects were good? How low can one possibly set the bar here?
Very much looking forward to watching Captain America torpedo this piece of garbage next week at the box office. 🙂
Thanks for the heads up my family, friends and I will not support this movie, God Bless
Brian, what you would your response to Focus on the Family’s review of the film?
Thanks for the update. It’s so disappointing to see the reviews by the Christians who got to see early screenings and gave it a good grade. You captured my feelings of outrage perfectly.
As for the tiny bits you said were good–that was what they kept showing in the trailers and what kept me hoping against hope that somehow they would re-work it and make something decent–I SO want to see a good movie with Noah in it that shows the magnitude of the destruction described in Genesis–whether the filmmaker decides to go with the angelic interpretation of the “sons of God” or the “line of seth” interpretation. Thus far, the closest I’ve gotten to see was “The Bible” with it’s tiny opening with Noah that zoomed out from the Ark to show a deluged globe.
I also had a tiny bit of hope for the concept of Tubal-Cain as the primary villain. Having opposition from one of the sons of Cain’s Lamech (who might have been better though it might have been a stretch to have him around and virile at the time) was a great idea, and Ray Winstone would have been perfect for a better written role. Such a waste! Much like the Waste in the Beowulf movie he did (though even it was better than Butler’s version).
That pretty much sums up my feelings on the movie as a whole, from this description–such a waste. Sadly, it will probably be many years before we get another chance for a good Noah movie with anywhere near this budget–though I’ll keep hoping for you or someone else to pull it off.
In the mean time, please hurry up with those last two chronicles!
P.S. Have you heard any specifics on the upcoming Exodus movie? I’ve liked many of Scott’s films through the years, and while I agree with your Criticisms of Kingdom of Heaven, I still find bits of light in it in the side characters, especially Thewlis’ Hospitalar, even though the main character and his arc are dismal. Here’s hoping Scott does a good film where he keeps the Bible’s message rather than a subversion piece like this.
My wife and I were on the fence about paying to see Noah. Not anymore.
Great point about the difference between paying for a ticket to see an obviously pagan flick like Avatar, and Noah.
Don’t worry, LA Times is already throwing stones at “those sniveling, whining Christians: we can’t ever make them happy”.
Saw it. While I can see how hardcore Bible-only Fundies would get their undies in a bunch about the supposed “radical agenda” underlying this interpretation of Noah & the flood, that really wasn’t my takeaway.
The film does mention sin multiple times: not just earth-exploitation, but also man’s inhumanity to man. The characters constantly speak of “The Creator”–which at that stage in salvation history, is probably quite accurate! This was pre-Abram leaving Ur, pre-Fiery Bush, pre-lawgiving at Mt. Sinai. God hadn’t revealed His Name to anyone..so what else would they call Him?
Finally, during Noah’s “dark night of the soul” where he broods over man’s evil & assumes humanity should have no future, my main thought was “good grief! Looks like Noah went thru a phase of Calvinism!” before his merciful and loving wife & family showed him how God’s mercy ultimately trumps punishment and vengeance. Pretty cool that way: in the end, it’s like they all ended up as Catholics 😉
Fine film! I would see it again…
I was so hoping for a good Christian film. I will not be taking my family to this. Thanks for the information.
This was a good review and very much appreciated, but it grieves me that you used that word… http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god-awful
Is there a reason you chose the word you did?
Please know that when you use that word you are blaspheming and degrading the holy name of God, and you are no better than Mr Aronofsky–who is an atheist and all he can do is blaspheme–when you do so.
worse yet i saw the film to be certain ti is atheist and environmental propaganda with the intent of earning big bucks of “those ignorant buffoons following a fake made up entity”, and bring peoples understanding of the bible into fairy-tales.
But, you see, the primary, even overwhelming source of suffering on this planet is that living creatures eat living creatures to survive.
Remove that and wham-O! pert near utopia.
Since homo sapiens possess the capacity to rise above slaughtering sentient living beings (albeit without the capacity for abstract reasoning), his pronounced devotion to carnivorism is like a dedication of humanity to perpetuating suffering.
It’s not just some, you know, left-wing, enviro-agitprop thing.
It’s, like, um, evil (insomuch as we define evil as the deliberate infliction of suffering on other beings).
So however good or bad the movie is, the fact that it takes a pronounced stand against the cycle of biological suffering is hardly a flaw.
I’m sure glad God was just joking when He instructed:
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
1 Corinthians 10:25
Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.
What I found interesting about the Noah movie was the fact that atheist producer Darren Aronofsky chose to portray the watchers (rock giants in the movie) as benevolent beings that tried to help humanity which is directly opposite of how the Bible and the book of Enoch portrays these fallen angels. Now why would an “atheist” twist evil to good? Hmm…
Read my full review about the movie at: http://www.sagacityweb.com/2014/09/noah-the-movie-and-the-watchers/