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Noah - The Review

14/04/2014 17:15 BST | Updated 13/06/2014 10:59 BST

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of biblical epics I've seen on the big screen over the past 40 years.

Not that there have been many such big budget movies over that time, but the likes of The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christ left me cold.

Thankfully, as a big fan of Darren Aronofsky I was curious to see what he did with Noah.

Of course, it helps that it had the dream team from A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connolly.

The result was extraordinary.

Imagine a mix of Lord of the Rings and 2012 and you get the idea behind the scale and tone of this epic.

Who would have thought that Transformer-style rock monsters would steal the movie? Like the Ents in The Two Towers, their lumbering appeal transformed the film into a blockbuster, as did the money shot of the Ark being submerged before its legendary voyage.

Darren Aronofsky is one of the boldest filmmakers working today, and though some of his projects (The Fountain) have been compromised, this feels like the perfect marriage of visionary weirdness, inspired folly and old fashioned filmmaking in the Cecil B DeMille style.

Purists might take issue with the interpretation, but any film that thrills, dazzles and amazes a happy agnostic for two plus hours deserves respect.

Russell Crowe delivers a fine performance as the eponymous protagonist, while Jennifer Connelly is the rock on which the potentially submersible vehicle rests.

Emma Watson and Logan Lerman were engaging enough, and Anthony Hopkins added gravitas as Methuselah.

As for Ray Winstone as the obligatory bad guy, he was gruff and memorable, a fine match for Crowe's morally conflicted protagonist.

Whatever your faith, Noah deserves a look on the big screen. It's a tribute to a gifted director whose next project should be heaven sent, whatever it may be.