Sunday, 20 September 2015

Noah Review (Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel)

I’m gonna try to keep my Christianity bashing to a minimum in this review even though it’s crazier than Donald Trump’s hair ESPECIALLY the Old Testament! 

So it’s ye olden days and 950 year old warrior vet Noah (who looks to be in his 40s) has visions of a global flood. He decides to build a giant floating box for his family and two of every animal IN THE WORLD to wait out the coming storm - but not the other humans because they eat meat and are jerks! You know what happens, we were all five once and heard this story before naptime. 

I guess this was a sort of storyboard for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah movie starring Russell “Fightin’ round the werld - c’mon, Tugger!” Crowe, but I can’t say for sure as I didn’t bother watching that movie. I think Hermione was in it too? 

Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel create a sort of Mad Max-type world that says "this ain't your grandpappy's Bible!" where six-armed fallen angels (at least we know where Goro came from) live in the mountains and all humans are scum because of Eve eating an apple. Aside from the monster angels and some random Hollywood battles (for… zzz... “excitement”), it’s the same old Noah myth and plays out as stupidly as you’d expect. 

Noah is a completely unlikeable and idiotic protagonist, or at least he is by the end. You’re sort of rooting for the nine-and-a-half-centenarian to succeed to start with because he’s just trying to protect his family but then once they’re in the ark he goes Old Testamental and starts saying God wants him to murder baby girls but not baby boys. Yeah… that shit’s one of many reasons why religion gets my goat (of which there are none in this book so who knows where they came from!). 

It’s not exactly great character development either as there’s no reasoning behind his actions besides "God told me to do it" and we never get to know him as the story progresses. One minute he’s grim and determined, then he’s cynical, wanting everyone dead because they deserve it, then he’s really lost it and recasts himself as this righteous baby-killing beastmaster. Why? Don’t know.

BY FAR the best thing about this book is Niko Henrichon’s art which is nothing short of stunning. The Pride of Baghdad artist brings his A-game and gives the comic so many lush visuals. From the detailed Tower of Babel, to Noah’s apocalyptic visions, the giants, the battle scenes, the numbers of animals - simply breathtaking stuff that really deserved a better script. 

The one complaint I’ll give it is the character designs could really use some variation. Noah’s wife and daughter look similar as do Noah, his sons, and some guy - maybe he’s a son too? But then he has sex with Noah’s daughter and knocks her up so hopefully not. Then again there's only 7 or so people alive by the end so I guess we're all the product of unavoidable incest? 

The creation myth is retold and sounds as crazy as ever but they also try shoehorning evolution into it as well which doesn’t work - you can’t have evolution and then just have humans suddenly appear! How does Noah and his peeps keep the animals quiet on the ark? Magic smoke which puts them to sleep but somehow keeps them alive. Such lazy storytelling!

We really didn’t need a slightly tweaked retelling of Noah’s ark. The story is dull and silly, the characters are very indistinct and forgettable, and the whole endeavour would’ve been a waste had it not been for Niko Henrichon’s artwork. As part of the framework for a belief system it’s insane, as a fictional story it’s uninteresting - I’m not sure who would find this comic appealing but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!


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