Twelve Things Wrong with Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'
Here's how Darren Aronofsky could have made 'Noah' a better movie about a hairy guy and a whale.
As a Catholic school student for nine and half years and an altar boy for the first half of those years, I know a thing or two about the best-selling work of fiction known as the Bible. And just like most fans of The Lord of The Rings, X-Men, and other classic works of fantasy in the past, I was a bit concerned when I heard about Hollywood's adaption of the inspiring Bible story of Noah. Like any other adaptation, there's a million ways to fuck up that story and very few ways to get it right. Thankfully, most of my skepticism was put to rest when I learned that Darren Aronofsky—the director of the greatest, most spot-on portrayal of New Jersey in film (The Wrestler)—would be at the helm.
Over the past 18 months since my book, Skinema, was optioned to be made into a scripted TV show, I've become friends with Darren through my producer/his fiancée, Brandi Milbradt. They were kind enough to invite my wife and me to last night's NYC premiere of Noah. As a friend, I figured I should give Darren some press (since no one else is talking about it) and write my honest take on the film. But being a real friend means telling someone the hard truths when everyone else is blowing smoke up his ass. That said, I feel it's my duty to let Darren know exactly what he's gotten wrong with his new film.
So in honor of the 12 Commandments, I offer you 12 things that Noah got wrong.
1. The biggest and most annoying flaw in the entire movie is that they never get to the part where Noah gets eaten by the whale. I hate when movies like The Hobbit and Noah stretch a short tale of fiction into three movies. Are we not going to even see the whale until the third film? What the hell? I felt like such an asshole sitting in the theater in my "Shamu Rules" T-shirt waiting for a whale that never came.
2. Five minutes in I'm asking why Hannibal Lecter has long hair, how he is alive in this time line, and why he didn't eat Noah when he drugged him in the cave. I was confused for the entire rest of the movie.
3. For a movie based on the book of Genesis, they failed to seize the obvious opportunity to use any song by the British rock band Genesis or even one of Phil Collins's solo tracks. I mean, "In Too Deep" would be good but "Against All Odds" seems like such a no-brainer, and I'm quite certain it's never been used in a movie before.
4. There was no singing. If The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has taught us anything, it's that all movies should start out with a 30-minute Led Zeppelin cover sung by dwarves so that if anyone is running late to the theater they don't have to risk a DUI to avoid missing anything.
5. I got into the premiere late, so I missed where the movie took place, but with that much rain I assumed it was Seattle. Darren, I can assure you, there are not two black-fronted parakeets in all of Seattle. Now or then. And to go back to my previous point, if the film is set in Seattle, how could they not use a Nirvana tune? Like the cover of "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam"?
6. Noah is barely over two hours long. At 139 minutes, it falls way below the 201-minute Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which I was certain this would eclipse (especially if they got to the whale). My suggestion would have been to add some more singing (of which, as I mentioned, there was none).
7. Neither Russell Crowe or Jennifer Connelly has a nude scene. (For what it's worth, we do see Hermione Granger with bare shoulders, though.)
8. Sadly, for whatever reason, the role of God was not reprised by George Burns. I'm assuming it was a budgetary issue. We never see or hear God, either. In my opinion I would have had voice-over actor James Earl Jones be the voice of God so we could all pretend the Force and Darth Vader truly do surround and penetrate us while binding the galaxy together.
9. Aside from the Watchers, there are no black guys in the movie. I'm not sure if the story of Noah and the Whale takes place before or after Jesus' time, but one thing we all know for a fact is that Jesus was black. So even if this story pre-dates Jesus, we should, in the words of Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing, "Have some brothers up on the wall." If it were up to me, I'd have an all-black cast. Sorry, Russell Crowe. You did a great job (and who isn't a Romper Stomper fan?), but I think Jerrod Carmichael would've made a better Noah.
10. Although the pop culture homages were hilarious (like when Noah goes to touch Seth's glowing finger à la E.T. and when young Hermione gets her magic wand stabbed into her stomach), but I found them completely inappropriate for a religious film. Religion is no laughing matter.
11. Sorry to give away the ending, but in the final scene of the movie Noah eats grapes. Not berries, as referenced the entire film.
12. Finally, I would have made the dove that signifies the end of the flood a little cooler, and by cooler I mean a pterodactyl, one that shoots lasers from its eyes and eats baby girls and ultimately fights Godzilla.
Noah opens in theaters tomorrow.