Nowadays stories set in post-apocalyptic visions of the future are so popular that they’re practically commonplace, but this spring director Darren Aronofsky is bringing one of the original apocalypse tales to the screen in Noah, a big-budget epic retelling of the well-known Bible story. Russell Crowe plays the lead: a man who suffers visions of a great flood and recruits his family in building an enormous ark (which is sadly not called Tugger) to save his loved ones and a few thousand birds and beasts from certain death.
Joining Noah in the ark are Jennifer Connelly as his wife Naameh, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth as his sons Ham and Shem, and Emma Watson as his adopted daughter Ila. Watson herself introduces the latest trailer for Noah with the long-standing British tradition of extreme awkwardness. Even when the trailer begins, it’s Ila who largely seems to be the focus as one of the human hearts of the world-ending tale.
With a filmography filled with idiosyncratic and edgy titles like Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, some critics had reservations about how well Aronosky would cope with such a big-budget studio film – one which would need to tread careful so as not to upset the religious community. These worries were compounded fter reports that disclaimers designed to placate religious viewers had been added to the marketing materials without Aronofsky’s knowledge or consent.
Luckily, early critic and audience reactions suggest that Aronofsky’s vision has survived intact. Some have warned that it’s likely be very polarizing, and comparisons have been made to the director’s extremely divisive 2006 film The Fountain (which was a box office flop – let’s hope that’s not an ill omen). Others noted that the trailers have done a poor job of capturing the essence of the film. Overall, however, the reactions have been very positive.
.@DarrenAronofsky's Noah is a much different film than whats being advertised. Biblical epic meets fantasy, with a philosophical core.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) March 11, 2014
What I wonder is how audiences will take the way Noah himself gets dark. The film doesn't shy from the fact he leaves LOTS of people to die.— Mystery Devin Faraci (@devincf) March 11, 2014
Really only the first half of #Noah has been advertised, minus some heavy fantasy elements. The second half is character-based thriller.— Nathan Adams (@TempleOfReviews) March 11, 2014
Noah - Aronofsky's take on biblical story is solid, with some amazing scenes + a focus on character above all. Loved most but not all of it.— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) March 11, 2014
According to THR, the world premiere of Noah in Mexico City received a mixed response from audience members. Aronofsky introduced it by saying, “It’s a very, very different movie… Anything you’re expecting, you’re f—ing wrong.” Whether that’s true or not we’ll have to wait to find out for ourselves, but apparently the audience clapped for about 30 seconds after the credits rolled… though they remained in their seats for the applause. Upon leaving, some members of the audience commented that it was “slow” and “dragged” in places.
Does this early buzz make you want to go and see Noah in theaters, or will you wait for full reviews before deciding? Tell us what you’re expecting from Aronofsky’s Biblical epic in the comments.
Noah opens in theaters on March 28, 2014.