I was recently offered the chance to get a free BluRay/DVD copy of the movie “Noah” in exchange for reviewing it and also giving a copy away (details after my take.)
So I sat down and watched this movie expecting the worst, based on some reviews I had read. I thought it was going to be ridiculously ignorant of the Biblical text and probably completely unwatchable.
I was wrong in a few different ways.
First, it wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t the worst movie I had seen. It wasn’t the worst movie “inspired” by the Bible. It honestly wasn’t even that bad. And by “that bad” I mean in the aspect of entertainment and special effects and other things I would rate any other movie on.
Second, it wasn’t “ridiculously ignorant of the Biblical text.” Was it spot on? No. Was it way off on everything? No. Rarely have I seen depicted the sinful nature of man captured so well. Rarely too have I seen an all too familiar attitude of Christians in their purpose to subdue the earth, held up to a critical light.
Along these lines, let me also say I grew up watching Christian cartoons for kids that were as “extra-Biblical” if not more in some regards. Side stories were added to these childhood cartoons to involve characters from the future or maybe just to interact with the main Biblical characters and no one batted an eye.
Third, it wasn’t unwatchable. I was interested in a good part of it, but I also checked out on a couple of things (checking email, FB, thinking about Gladiator, etc.) That being said, it was long. At times it was a little “out there” with an environmental and vegetarian message that could be felt as heavy handed. The rock monsters/fallen angels and possible baby killing also weren’t highlights.
I came away wondering what the big fuss was. I get that God was only referred to as “The Creator” but that’s more than many making films might give God. Methuselah seems to have performed a miracle but there was no mention of it being God sourced, but that was more confusing to me than anything.
It filled 2 hours from a small portion of Scripture and while a lot of the movie was obviously expanded and “extra-Biblical,” I think some of the narrative of the flood – especially the sinfulness of man and God’s promise afterwards – make it through the movie, sometimes powerfully.
You might watch it and think it is dull. You might watch it and keep a scorecard of what’s not in the Bible or what’s different than the Bible (you’d have a lot to work with). You might watch it and find out someone’s take on the story of Noah – from it’s main themes and characters, to the main message from God, The Creator. You may be able to watch it and think about sin and man’s depravity in a new way. Maybe you’ll decide you have no interest or you may decide you cannot watch it. Whatever the case may be, I’m not sure the reaction we’ve heard in Christian circles matches the material.
Maybe I’m looking too hard for what’s redeemable rather than what’s condemnable, but I think there’s a possibility for conversation. What do you think?
**ENTRY INFO: If you want to get a copy yourself for free, leave a comment here or on my facebook share of this link (if we’re facebook friends) about why you want a copy of the movie and what you’ve heard other people say about it. ** Entry deadline has been extended to Wednesday, August 6, at noon EST.
**Note: Noah was provided free from Grace Hill Media for review and give away purposes.
** UPDATE ** Congrats to Corey on winning the drawing based on Random.org random selection.