Biblical epics are a movie genre nearly as old as the medium itself, and anyone not vaguely familiar with the tale of Noah and the ark may be living under some pre-historic rock. But in the first trailer for his new movie “Noah,” director Darren Aronofsky seems determined to make something that feels both familiar and totally original at the same time.
The basic set-up is nothing that we haven’t seen before. Russell Crowe stars as Noah, the family man who has become plagued with dreams of the world’s destruction. Crowe’s “A Beautiful Mind” onscreen wife, Jennifer Connelly, takes on that role again, asking Noah what God has told him.
In these dreams, Aronofsky (“Black Swan” and “The Fountain”) shows off his unique brand of intense visuals.
As Noah explains the oldest man in the world, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), the end is coming and it’s going to be wet. So wet, in fact, that Noah and his family (a bevy of attractive young stars like Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Douglas Booth) have to build a really big boat to house themselves and every animal on the planet worth saving. Sorry, dragons and unicorns.
From this cruelly short teaser — why can’t trailers be two and a half hours? — Aronofsky is clearly showing off that for his biblical epic, he wants to have it both ways. With the basic premise and imagery, this is an epic in the tradition of “The 10 Commandments” and “Ben-Hur,” but he’s filled it with enough new, stunning imagery to make people eager to hear the story of Noah all over again.