As a descendant of Seth son of Adam, Noah (Russell Crowe - Broken City) has been raised as a Creator fearing man and someone who respects life be it animal or plant, only picking or killing what he and his family need to survive. As such when Noah receives a vision from the Creator telling him that he will destroy all living things on the planet as there is too much wickedness he seeks advice from his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins - Thor: The Dark World) as the vision told him to. It is whilst with Methuselah that he receives another vision and understands what he must do. With his family, and the help of fallen angels known as "Watchers", he sets about building an ark in order to take in two of each living thing as a great flood will wipe out all those left behind. But not only does Noah have to contend with issues involving his sons Shem (Douglas Booth) and Ham (Logan Lerman) but he also has to deal with the wicked Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone - Ashes) who with his legions of followers plans to attack the ark before the floods arrive.
The first thing which comes to mind when watching "Noah" was the question; what was Darren Aronofsky trying to achieve? I am assuming he wanted to deliver an epic movie using the story of Noah from the book of Genesis in the Bible but not telling the story as it is in the bible but a re-imagined and highly embellished version. And even as a Christian I can understand that as what is written in the Bible when it comes to Noah is not the most detailed. But it does lead me to the first obvious point and for anyone hoping "Noah" was going to be a loyal retelling of what is written in the Bible is going to be disappointed especially as we don't hear the use of the word God but instead he is referred to as Creator. Although in fairness there is a narrative arc to "Noah" which takes us from judgement to grace which along with scenes involving sin, faith and respect it still touches on some biblical themes.
So what that means is that there are parts of "Noah" which has the potential to upset some audiences, and that includes the seemingly predominantly white cast. But as I said this "Noah" isn't really the Noah of the bible and instead this is a movie aiming to be epic with stunning CGI effects, big action scenes and big characters with actors delivering big performances. And I would guess for an audience who might watch and think wasn't Douglas Booth and Logan Lerman good looking or wasn't Emma Watson attractive then it might score highly. For me I couldn't look past the "Watchers" being shown as rock like creations which reminded me of Transformers more than anything. Look, I am very much old school when it comes to epics and CGI epics do not have the same affect on me as those of the past which uses thousands of extras and huge sets.
Now I've already mentioned the young cast and how they might appeal to a young audience but I have to be truthful and say their performances were forgettable. But wait, I felt the same when it came to Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone with this sense that no one really knew what vibe to go for whether action movie style characters or more classical, thespian style characters. I really am struggling to explain what it is about these characters and the performances which didn't work but beyond those awful fallen angel rock things there is nothing memorable about the characters in "Noah".
What this all boils down to is that "Noah" didn't do it for me and that is not because as a Christian I was disappointed with the liberties which were taken. Just the whole movie seemed like it was aiming for some thing more than it could ever be and in the end it might be a case that in trying to appeal to too many people it ended up unsure of what it wanted to be.