Russell Crowe: Hulking frame, shaven head, full-on beard, talking to the clouds...manual labor for Rock Giants. Sounds absolutely bizarre - especially from Darren Aronofsky. Well, to be fair, Aronofsky did give us the equally bonkers 'Black Swan,' but the filmmaker's esoteric approach to the material makes the film seem more distinctive to other biblical epics that preceeded it. It might cause derision with religious scholars and devout historians, but Aronofsky has crafted an intense ride for the sheer purpose of entertainment.
I must admit, the first sign of the Rock Giants seemed like they the aborted creations of Michael Bay, but the performances carried the film perfectly that at times you hardly noticed them. One would want to give credence to the characters, even though they try so hard to avoid being overtly exagerated; the precedence set by Ray Winstone's character Tubal-Cane being an example. The limping leg for much of the film comes solely through the asinine attempts at designing CGI beasts, mostly in the opening scenes.
Still, with strong performances from Crowe and Jennifer Connolly; a bold and almost operatic score from regular collaborator Clint Mansell, these elements distract the audience from the ovbvious absurdist approach to the material.
It is a film that will divide and probably be forgotten in less that a year, but like Arronofsky's other misunderstood film 'The Fountain,' it might be visited in years to come for a full re-evaluation. In the meantime take 'Noah' for what it is: A solid piece of pre-summer movie entertainment that requires only a modicum of intelligence from its audience.