At the end of the Noah film the final frame had the usual disclaimer: persons and events represented are fictitious, any similarities to anyone living or deceased was unintentional.
So this is a film about someone who just happened to have the same name as someone else who, in a famous story, went through quite similar events. Including a world-destroying flood, an ark, three sons, called Ham, Shem, and Japheth, and a drunk-in-a-cave event. That’s about where it ends.
This Noah has “Watchers” who help him (they are a cross between Lord-of-the-Ring Ents and The-Hobbit stone giants, with a good touch of Transformers), no wives for Ham and Japheth, and a stow-away Tubal Cain. Noah is a vegan who, surprisingly, lives in the (ummm… about the time of King David) Iron Age (but with magic added).
On first seeing the shorts I thought that here we were going to get a movie that made a legend look historical. But the controversy that swirls is in the opposite direction – people protesting that the film isn’t faithful to the Bible enough! “Have Aronofsky (raised with a Jewish education) and co-writer Ari Handel made a film that’s too religious for secular viewers and too secular for religious ones?” Certainly the retelling of Genesis 1 is in the concordist camp, the Genesis 1 voice-over accompanies fairly standard contemporary big-bang-and-evolution images – so reinforcing some people’s idea that Genesis is somehow hidden science.
The movie takes a strong environmentalist approach. The destruction of nature and animals is due, it proclaims, to humans having been given dominion over creation. Noah sees his call then to save the animals and exterminate humanity.
Like so many films based on a book – the book is better.