Weekend Movie Preview: ‘Noah’ Stays Afloat But ‘Raid 2′ Soars
Several big blockbusters opened with midnight showings on Thursday evening, so you have the response of both critics and audiences to help guide you if your weekend entails a trip to the movie theater. The biggest movie opening this weekend is Darren Aronofsky’s retelling of the Bible’s flood story, Noah. The film is tackling a pretty lofty story, but strong performances from Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly as well as a $125 million production budget for striking visual effects landed the movie a decent 78 percent fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Venerable Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers said the film is something “no movie enthusiasts … would want to miss,” citing Crowe’s performance as particularly strong. While the movie relies heavily on digital effects, it also benefits from the unique vision of the man who directed Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. So what did audiences think? On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a 71 percent fresh score from the 53,435 viewers who took the time to rate it. The movie may face some backlash from Christian viewers for its liberal interpretation of a Biblical story, but overall it has the big stars, solid reviews, and promise of action to see a big opening weekend, something the movie definitely needs to make up for that huge budget.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sabotage also opened on Thursday night. This action-packed story about a Drug Enforcement Agency task force headed by Schwarzenegger has a paltry 20 percent fresh rating from critics, who said the movie’s violence was gratuitous and pointless. “Abrasive” and “ugly” were two of the most common words in critical reviews. Audiences also remained unimpressed, with 8,790 viewers rating the film at just 55 percent. While such a movie was destined to be poorly received by critics, this type of high-voltage action is sometimes embraced by audiences seeking mindless entertainment — unfortunately for the film, it doesn’t seem to have impressed even those looking for a cinematic thrill ride.