Film review: Noah

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The story of Noah and his three sons unfolds across six chapters of the book of Genesis.

Director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel expand this lesson into a sprawling narrative about one man’s tireless quest to save innocent animals from the apocalypse.

*************** 2014 SPRING MOVIE SNEAKS FOR JANUARY 12, 2014. DO NOT USE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.************** Russell Crowe is Noah in the movie NOAH, from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises.

*************** 2014 SPRING MOVIE SNEAKS FOR JANUARY 12, 2014. DO NOT USE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.************** Russell Crowe is Noah in the movie NOAH, from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises.

This Noah is both a parable about self-sacrifice and a bombastic spectacle replete with computer-generated battle scenes that wouldn’t look out of place in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. Our Lord Of The Rings, if you will, although the script never directly references God.

Noah is fascinating yet flawed. Quieter, thoughtful sections of the film, when the titular character wrestles with his destiny, beg provocative questions about devotion to a higher power including an extraordinary scene of attempted infanticide.

Russell Crowe delivers a compelling central performance as a humble man, who accepts his own frailties.

Regrettably, Aronofsky also has to recoup a hefty budget so he punctuates his characters’ emotional rollercoaster with action sequences that are as soulless as they are spectacular.

When the pivotal deluge finally comes, it’s a tour-de-force of visual effects and swooping camerawork that is over in a matter of minutes.

Time and tide wait for no man, not even Russell Crowe.