Me Admitting I was Wrong: A Review of Noah

Grand PabbieMethuselah was easily the best character in the film. The 969 year old patriarch was played by Anthony Hopkins, who was actually believable as a 969 year old man (Cheyne said he bore a striking resemblance to Gollum). He also apparently is an early ancestor of Benny Hinn, because he had the innate ability to slay people in the spirit. And he had an affinity for berries.

In every scene he appears in, he talks about his desire to enjoy berries one last time. He chides his great-grandson for not giving him berries. He asks his daughter-in-law why she didn’t bring him berries. And before the floods descend, he frantically scrambles through random foliage in his pursuit of those sweet, sweet berries. As the waves come crashing toward him, he smiles as he finally finds a small, purple berry. He lifts it to his mouth, hoping to enjoy the tasty treat one last time before he dies.

And as this happened, I totally thought the wave was going to destroy him before he actually got to eat it.

Why?

Because that’s how “the Creator” is portrayed in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

* * *

My recommendation: Don’t see it. Not because I’m afraid of what it will do to your faith or your walk with God. But because it was a terrible film. It won’t entertain you. It won’t benefit you. And you will definitely consider it a waste of $12.50 (or $19, if you wanted to see it at a fancy movie theater like I did).

I had high hopes for the flick, but I knew trouble was afoot when the infamous disclaimer didn’t appear at the beginning of the movie. After seeing the first two minutes, I could tell this was going to be a stupid movie. At around the eight-minute mark, I decided this wasn’t a movie I’d want my kids to see.

And then the Rock-People showed up.

I have a feeling that many Christians will not like the film. And I can predict why they won’t like the film. And honestly, there are some good reasons to avoid the movie and some bad ones. I want to present those to you now.

THINGS THAT SHOULDN’T BOTHER YOU

  1.       The Rock-People

I’ll admit it. The Rock-People were kind of dumb. And they were poorly animated. And they were a bunch of wussies. But having said all that, they weren’t entirely unsanctioned. Genesis 6 does make passing references to “the nephilim,” a word that is usually translated “giants” or “dead ones.” The director interpreted them as “Rock-People.” And that’s his prerogative. Is that what nephilim were? Probably not. Did the nephilim really build the ark for Noah? Probably not. Should the existence of Rock-People in the film be the subject of our criticism? Probably not.

  1.       Emma Watson

Noah didn’t have a daughter. But he did have several daughters-in-law. Is it possible that one of his son’s wives lived with them before they tied the knot? Sure. So let it go.

  1.       Too many animals

One scathing review of the movie I came across complained that the movie depicted Noah rescuing all “species” of animals rather than all “kinds” of animals. The reviewer claimed that this was a subtle affront on creationism. Buddy, there were plenty of blatant affronts on creationism. Why complain about the one that probably wasn’t even a thing?

THINGS THAT SHOULD BOTHER YOU

  1.       Noah is far too dark

I understand that we weren’t on the ark, and don’t actually know every single detail of Noah’s journey. I also get that the film was created by Aronofsky, who majors in making movies about demented weirdoes. And I get that the point of the film was to explore the psyche of the titular character in an attempt to understand just how difficult his task was. But Noah goes too far. In its quest to present a gritty, relatable, human Noah, it abandons the only attributes the bible actually ascribes to him:

“This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

We hardly see any of these traits in Aronofsky’s Noah. The film does stress the wickedness of man, but the film’s Noah overstresses his own wickedness and the wickedness of his children and grandchildren, claiming that “none of us are blameless.”

The film’s Noah also doesn’t appear very righteous. He is outraged by the miraculous pregnancy of his barren daughter-in-law, going so far as to attempt to kill her children to protect the earth. When asked why he was selected to build the ark, he rejects the notion that it was because of his righteousness and claims it was because God knew “he would get the job done.”

And far from “walking faithfully with God,” the film’s Noah hardly knew God. He joins an agnostic choir that includes the film’s main antagonist and the Rock-People when he screams at the heavens, asking why God won’t answer him and why God is forcing him to murder his children.

  1.       God’s ambiguity

Was the Creator really asking Noah to murder his kids? We don’t actually know, because God never shows up in the film. God only “speaks” to one character, and even though Noah “trusts that God will speak in a way he can understand,” God doesn’t. He speaks through cryptic dreams and esoteric visions, leading Noah to almost stab his grandchildren to death to fulfill what he believes to be God’s will.

The film presents us with two options as to God’s intentions for mankind. One, God left the decision of man’s fate in Noah’s hands, allowing him to decide whether humanity deserves to survive. Or two, God made a mistake by selecting Noah, because ultimately Noah was unable to do what needed to be done; namely, to make sure no humans survived the flood.  Either way, it was Noah’s love for his children rather than God’s love for His children that explains why we are still around today.

  1.       The movie is a waste of a Regal gift card

Ultimately, you aren’t going to like the movie. All blasphemy and misrepresentation aside, it just wasn’t that good. I went into that theatre with an open mind and honestly was hoping it’d be good, but before the opening credits were over, I could tell it was going to be a waste of an evening.

Like I said before, I’m not deterring you from seeing the flick because I’m afraid it might upset your faith; I’m afraid it might upset your credit card. Save your money for Captain America: Winter Soldier. That’s a film that won’t disappoint (mainly because it wasn’t written by Aronofsky).

I’ll leave you with this. The film claims that the Creator desired to save the animal kingdom, and Noah was lucky enough to be their chaperone. But the bible paints a different picture:

So the Lord said, “I will destroy both man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

But then Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:7-8)

The reason God saved the animals is because He loved us, not the other way around. By grace we are saved. We are the apple of His eye. We are the object of His love and affection. We are His children.

And He loves us with such a great love.

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(Read the biblical account of Noah.)

The Biblical Story of Noah: Genesis 6-9

NoahMovieChapter

Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord.

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

14 “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. 15 Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.

17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. 20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

Chapter 7 

When everything was ready, the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous. Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others. Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and a female in each pair to ensure that all life will survive on the earth after the flood. Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created.”

So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.

Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth. He went on board the boat to escape the flood—he and his wife and his sons and their wives. With them were all the various kinds of animals—those approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were not—along with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground.They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. 10 After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth.

11 When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. 12 The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.

13 That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and their wives.14 With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along with birds of every kind. 15 Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes. 16 A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them.

17 For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. 18 As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. 19 Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, 20 rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks. 21 All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people. 22 Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. 23 God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat. 24 And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.

Chapter 8 

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days, exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.

After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. 11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.

13 Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. 17 Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.”

18 So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19 And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

Chapter 9 

Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.

“And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image. Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.”

Then God told Noah and his sons, “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”

12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” 17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.

20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.

24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. 25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:

“May Canaan be cursed!
May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”

26 Then Noah said,

“May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
and may Canaan be his servant!
27 May God expand the territory of Japheth!
May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,
and may Canaan be his servant.”

28 Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. 29 He lived 950 years, and then he died.

(read more at BibleGateway.)

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