Noah Movie Review
Kidzworld zeroes in on “Noah”, the disaster/action film based on a bible story. Can a family survive when the world is ending? Find out in Kidzworld's review of the movie.
By: Lynn Barker
The world is in chaos. Plants are dead and dying, big cities pollute and destroy while governments topple, bands of terrorists roam the land and the people suffer. This could be happening this week but for Noah and his family, only the tenth generation after first man and woman Adam and Eve, it’s happening in their time and a world-wide flood is coming. Can they survive?
Several generations out from the first man and woman Adam and Eve, young Noah watches while his father is killed by warlike descendants of Cain. We are told that Noah’s family would always be caretakers of the world and “walk alongside the creator”. Years later, Noah (Russell Crowe) is middle-aged and married to Naameh (Jennifer Connally) and has two cute sons Shem (Douglas Booth of Romeo and Juliet) and Ham (Logan Lerman of the “Percy Jackson” films), plus their baby bro. The family lives off the barren land and takes only what they need.
Noah’s Dream and Journey
Noah has an awful dream about walking on a field of blood and then underwater while drowned people float around him. He thinks the creator is trying to tell him something. He wants to talk to his wise grandpa Methuselah (Sir Anthony Hopkins) about what it means. The whole family goes to find him and come upon a camp whose occupants have all been killed. Young, badly injured Illa (later played by “Harry Potter’s" Emma Watson) survives and the family adopts her.
The family is also set upon by huge rock creatures called “Watchers”, once angels condemned by the creator to live in this form. They don’t trust humans but one realizes that Noah is on a mission and leads them to Methuselah, the only other human they trust.
Methuselah confirms that the world will end in a great flood. The creator is angry at Man’s wicked, selfish and evil behavior and wants to “start again”. Noah has a vision, learning that he and his family must save the innocent; two each of all of the creatures on earth and must build a huge boat (ark) to house them when the flood comes. The Watchers agree to help. Planting a seed given him by Methuselah, Noah sees a giant forest magically grow around him.. wood for the ark!
Ten Years Later
The ark is still being built and a more grown up Shem and Illa are in love. Ham, who doesn’t have a girlfriend, is jealous. Animals are starting to migrate to the ark and the family is attacked by Tubal Cain (Ray Winstone) who feels he is King and he is the one the creator should be asking to save Mankind, not Noah. Tubal tries to get Ham on his side but the boy finally does as his dad says. Tubal’s army is driven back with help of the Watchers but will return with more men.
The Coming Flood
As the rain begins, the family moves inside the ark for protection. A very sad Illa tells Noah, that she wants to marry Shem but can’t have children (due to her early injury). Noah should find him another wife to go on the ark. Ham leaves to find a girlfriend to take with them. He finds and befriends an abandoned girl. Meanwhile Naameh goes to Methuselah and he is able to heal Illa so she can have children after all. Noah goes to find Ham and he, Ham and his girl run for the ark chased by Tubal Cain and desperate people. The girl’s foot is caught in a trap and Noah can’t save her. Ham hates him for it.
The Ark is Launched
The Watchers defend the ark and are killed by the hordes of Tubal’s army. Injured, Tubal sneaks aboard the ark just as tons of water falls from the sky and seeps up from the earth. Finally, the planet is covered with water. Noah feels that the creator doesn’t really want any Men to survive. When he learns that Illa is pregnant, he feels he will have to kill her baby to make sure there are no future generations when the flood waters recede.
Will Illa and her baby survive? Will Tubal Cain attack the family? Will the embittered Ham help him? Can the family forgive Noah for his harsh decisions? Will the ark ever come up against dry land again?
On the surface, Noah is a disaster movie with some pretty impressive special effects. There is action involving giant rock creatures vs. an army, a love story and family chaos. On that level the film actually works. Note that there is plenty of violence in Noah (it’s rated PG-13) and some scenes might be upsetting for younger kids. Although there are moments of joy and a bit of humor, overall, Noah can be depressing despite a more uplifting ending.
The family relationships in the film are timeless; a brother jealous of his bro because he doesn’t have a girlfriend, a wife tying to go along with her husband’s mission even if she doesn’t totally understand it, a young woman wanting to marry and have a family but not being able to, etc. You might relate to Illa’s sad story or Ham’s longing for love and companionship. Acting, especially that of Russell Crowe as the tortured Noah and Emma Watson as Illa, is very believable and heartfelt throughout.
There are messages here for our modern age; a need to protect animals and the environment, anti-war themes etc. but, no matter what your religious beliefs, the major lesson that comes out of this story of Noah and his family is that despite the evil that flawed Mankind, as a whole, commits, as long as there are people who can feel and show love, we are worth saving and that’s a pretty worthy message. For older kids and teens, we go 4 stars.
Noah Movie Rating:
Noah is in theaters now!