I’ll get the disclosure out of the way: I haven’t seen Darron Aronofsky’s Gladiator meets Prometheus version of the Biblical account of Noah and the flood. I don’t really intend to see it, at least while it’s in the theaters.
But I have read Erick Erickson’s review of the film, which is so good I’ll probably end up catching Noah once it’s at Redbox and I want to have a laugh. Having a bad day? Watch Noah! The days of the ancients and the foundations of our culture as a big-screen laugh-fest — what an idea! Mel Brooks did it first, but whatever. Erickson sees Noah as a feel-good romping comedy with sci-fi touches. His review is certainly more entertaining than Kathleen Parker’s dour take on evangelical reaction to it. But she’s kind of a Beltway clown anyway. Adam and Eve as space aliens? Rock monsters? Magical snake skins? Unicorn genocide? Whatever. The Biblical account is strange enough. Did Hollywood really need to give the Ancient Aliens guys the biggest big-screen shout-out they’ve had since X-Files went away?
On the other hand, Sarah Rumpf sees something else in Noah. Not only is it nothing like Genesis, it’s not even original. It’s a crafty rehash of another recent successful film. Click over to her blog to see which one. She makes a pretty good case.
But here’s a thought. The entertainment-industrial complex usually goes out of its way to offend and put off a huge market — evangelicals, Catholics and other traditional believers (except Muslims — mustn’t lose our heads!). Apparently they don’t really want our money that bad, perhaps we should stop giving it to them. Hollywood is now so far gone that even when they do get around to making something that might appeal to those audiences, they manage to mock those audiences anyway. When you believe in nothing, nothing is sacred, and the only group whose ox you won’t gore is the one that credibly threatens to kill you if you do.
Ages ago, Bill Cosby did a riff on Noah that was hilarious while also being respectful. “What’s an ark?!?” But then again, unlike most of today’s entertainment titans, Cosby had talent that went beyond making explosions and tying everything to the latest political fads.