Director Darren Aronofsky harboured dreams of making Noah for over a decade and he was finally able to achieve his goal by using the critical and commercial success of The Wrestler and Black Swan as leverage so that Paramount Pictures would stump up the cash. The end product is a mixed bag, filled with Aronofsky’s trademark artistic flourishes, however you can’t but help feeling that he had to placate the money men by delivering something that feels like a generic CGI disaster movie/biblical epic.
Noah works best when Aronofsky feels like he’s being let off the leash. The film features some impressive montages of creation that feel fresh in a biblical epic, while the destruction of mankind is well realised when he hear the cries of the dying echo through the hold of Noah’s giant vessel. The last act sails into interesting territory as Noah risks losing his family due to his faith in The Creator’s plans, however this is ruined by a ridiculous subplot that sees Ray Winstone stowed away amongst the animals.
Noah isn’t a bad film, its just a film that feels like a compromise from Darren Aronofsky. It’s generic when it should have been bold and ridiculous when it should have been mystical. Russell Crowe anchors the movie with a strong performance but there’s ‘Noah way’ that this is the film Aronofsky originally set-sail to make.
Budgeted at $125 million, Noah grossed $101 million at the US box-office and $359 million worldwide in 2014.