Story of ‘Noah’ bogs down at the end

Building an ark creates family strife for Ham (Logan Lerman, left) and Noah (Russell Crowe) in the new movie "Noah." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise)

Building an ark creates family strife for Ham (Logan Lerman, left) and Noah (Russell Crowe) in the new movie “Noah.” (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise)

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

“Noah” has several big ideas going for it, but it eventually bogs down as a movie.

Darren Aronofsky co-wrote and directed the story of the Great Flood, and gave it the full computer-generated treatment moviegoers expect. It certainly looks like the kind of flood that could wipe out the vast majority of life on Earth.

Russell Crowe is Noah, a good man in a world torn by rampant sin. He and Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) try to raise their family on the periphery, and the Creator takes notice.

Noah’s dreams tell him of the catastrophe to come, and after a visit with his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), he knows what he must do.

With help from Fallen Angels and a seed from the Garden of Eden, Noah and his family build their ark, but they can’t keep their work secret for long.

Repeated miracles attract the attention of a self-declared king (Ray Winstone), who sets up camp around Noah’s compound.

The wickedness of the king and his followers hardens Noah’s heart, but his wife and family don’t fully understand what’s to come.

There is exceptional world-building going on in “Noah.” The movie’s landscape is often bleak and hostile, then something as small as a flower makes it inviting.

I suspect Aronofsky was trying to make a biblical case for environmentalism with this movie. Through over-development and greed, humans turn the world into a wasteland of clear-cut forests and spent mines.

Some might find that message heavy handed, but I wouldn’t have minded so much if the story hadn’t broken down later in the movie. The plot delivers plenty of dramatic opportunities for the actors, but by the end of “Noah,” I just wanted some relief.

“Noah” has a lot of elements going for it, but those elements never merge into a cohesive whole.

I give “Noah” a C minus.

It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville, and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

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