Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Noah: Skip the Movie, Read the Book

noah-movie
Don't go see the movie Noah—and here's why.

I've recently been encouraging people to support the many Christian movies that will be released this year. (See list below.) But I’ve heard from many people that Noah is so bad, that it's really better that you don't see it.

Although I love this year's trend of faith-based themes in mainstream cinema and encourage you to support positive, values-based media, we need to send a clear message to Hollywood that when they tell Biblical stories, we expect them to be respectful of the Bible story and not use it as a ruse to market to Bible believers and promote non-traditional messages.

The creators claim that while they took some license with the Biblical account in order to flesh out the details, they tried to stay true to the heart of the tale. Many people I've talked to wonder if the creators ever read the Biblical story of Noah. Many reviewers say the creators strayed far from the story, including fallen angel rock monsters, snake-dogs, and wizard-like magic. The message of the movie is pro-animal, anti-human, and the flood is represented as an environmental protection event.

I had big hopes for Noah, and if it lived up to the trailer, I would go see it. But, the trailer shows just about all the story that's actually from the Bible.

Here are my summaries from recent reviews:

IJReview: God is never mentioned by name. Men are portrayed as evil because they eat meat. Apparently, God made the earth for the animals and men are simply a bad mistake and the earth cannot return to its original perfection unless they are eliminated forever. The story is a “weird mash-up of concepts that never really reach their destination. There’s not enough action to be an action movie, not enough redemption to be a redemption tale, not enough Biblical references to be a religious film.” The review states that “there is no joy to be found in this film. This is a movie about how mankind ruins everything and how much God hates that.”

The Mormon Movie Guy gives it a D+. It’s “not at all the straightforward biblical epic that its trailers would suggest. Instead, audiences get a daring, if unsuccessful, artistic reinvention of the story.” “At almost every turn, this film takes whatever the Bible story says and does the opposite.” The film's tone is all over the place—a mythological fantasy, morphing into an action film, then a disaster epic, before settling on psychological thriller. It’s dark and disturbing. This sloppy movie fails as a Biblical story, as art, and as entertainment.

Comments from friends:
  • I think it could have been a good movie, if they had actually read the Bible before they made it. It was more like Lord of the Rings meets Batman.
  • There wasn't much resemblance to Noah the prophet of the Old Testament, except for the fact that he built an ark and the animals came.
  • It made Noah and God look like nut cases at times.
  • If you go see it, I would recommend reading the Bible story of Noah again so you can be clear on what was Biblical and what was not.
  • All in all, it did not leave us having more faith in the Bible, or wanting a closer relationship with God, so I do not think it was uplifting enough. It was more like God's children, left to themselves, make a big mess of things, but He still gives them another chance.
  • Don’t waste your money to go to the movie. In fact, it’s not even Red Box-worthy. It really is a waste of 2.5 hours.
Noah-animals

So, here's my suggestion--in the 2.5 hours you would have spent at the movie, read and discuss the following and you'll be much more inspired:
Recent and upcoming Christian-themed movies:
  • Son of God epic movie about the life of Jesus Christ (February)
  • Noah retells the story of the great flood. (March)
  • God’s Not Dead is about a faithful college student who defends his belief against an atheistic professor. (March)
  • Heaven Is for Real chronicles a 7-year-old’s recollection of being in heaven. (April)
  • Left Behind is the story of a group of survivors left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction. (June)
  • A Matter of Faith is about a Christian girl who goes to college and is influenced by a professor who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life. (September)
  • Exodus is the story of Moses leading the children of Israel from Egypt. (December)
  • Mary, Mother of Christ is the story of Mary from her youth to her struggles as a young mother caring for her child Jesus. (1st quarter 2015)
This article is from LDSMediaTalk.com. Used with permission.

2 comments:

Keith Brown said...

Larry, thanks for this review of the movie "Noah." I have heard nothing but negative things about it, and so I opted not to waste my time or money seeing it.

Have you seen the movie "God's Not Dead"? I have seen it twice and thought that it was excellent. If you have seen it, what did you think of it?

Larry Richman said...

Keith, I haven't seen "God is Not Dead," but plan to. Thanks for the recommendation.