While I have heard a lot of negative about the movie “Noah” before it came out, I tend to keep my mouth shut until I see something for myself. In the past, certain sections of the Christian community has been quick to bash anything Hollywood does for the smallest of details so I wait until a release. Usually, there are “artistic license” moments but the movie can serve as a starting point for some who are more visual and then enter into study or conversations.
That said, I really do not recommend “Noah”. While I am sure the Holy Spirit can and will work in spite of Noah IF we as Christians will enter into the conversations around us, the following is why I suggest you save your money (unless you are seeing it to enter into the conversation with others).
To accomplish this, I must review this film in two lights. First, from a Biblical standpoint. Second, from a movie for general entertainment.
Biblical Stand Point – The biblical account of Noah is found from Genesis 5-9. There’s a lot of details in those four chapters but not enough for a full length movie so I expected them to take “artistic license”.
Last fall, I was at a church leadership conference where they had the writer and director of the movie (Darren Aronofsky) there to share about the upcoming Biblical epic. He talked about how the story of Noah impacted him as a youth in Sunday School and how he wanted to bring it alive for the culture we live in. He fell short.
A good 95% of the details in the movie are fiction. Some were written to fill the gaps. Some are in direct contradiction of the Bible (many of the characters and events). I will not list them all because much of it doesn’t matter past that point of making sure people know it’s fiction. However, there are two major ones I want to address.
– God did not destroy the earth because man did not take care of His creation. Genesis 6 is clear that it was due to man’s sinful actions.
– God did not have the goal of destroying mankind so creation wouldn’t be messed up again and then Noah went against Him. After God took Noah into account, He decided to start again with Noah and his family.
Why do these matter? Besides historical accuracy, because there are great truths in the Noah account that point us to truths about Jesus. It teaches us of the ugliness of sin, God’s mercy, and metaphorical understandings of how you can have peace with God through Christ. If you would like to understand those better, touch base with me and I’d love to talk more.
Movie for Entertainment – If you put the Biblical point to the side, there is one positive and one negative (take this with a grain of salt since this part is subjective).
One positive – Much of the special effects were spectacular when it comes to the nature. The animals and “rock angels” were a little lame but the nature parts were cool.
One negative – For me, it was simply long and boring. My wife and I are movie people but often found ourselves laughing when we were not suppose to.
So that’s it…. babbling for whatever it’s worth. The final thought would be this. While you won’t hear me say this often of a movie, it would be better to read the book.