Alan Dee’s movie preview: Will punters queue up two by two to catch grizzled Russell Crowe build an ark?

For all the rumours of final cut wrangles, studio meddling, soaring budgets and tepid test screenings its easy to think of Noah as a sort of Biblical Waterworld – a soggy mess that’s going to see a lot of cash poured down the plughole.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd April 2014, 8:32 am
Russell Crowe in Noah
Russell Crowe in Noah

But if you’re looking for an overblown and overwrought epic with plenty of special effects trickery and modern muscle brought to bear on a sketchy if familiar story, you could do a lot worse.

Russell Crowe heads a heavyweight cast including Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins and calling the shots is Darren ‘Black Swan, The Wrestler’ Aronofsky so it’s no surprise that it’s not exactly the most reverent take on the famous flood fable and some Christians have been tutting rather loudly, and more.

Elsewhere there’s sci-fi action thriller Divergent, set in a future world where people are segregated by personality type.

Russell Crowe in Noah

It’s adapted from Veronica Roth’s bestselling young adult novel so expect Hunger Games vibes as our young heroine Shailene ‘The Descendants’ Woodley makes her way in the world while Kate Winslet’s in the background as an icy adversary.

Arty favourite of the week is The Double, directed by Richard Ayoade from a Dostoyevsky story about a loser confounded when a new arrival who is his spitting image starts living a life he can only dream of. Dark and delicious, with Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role and lots of other ‘indie’ favourites in the cast.

For reliable family fun Muppets: Most Wanted serves up the familiar recipe of puppets, star cameos, a daft crime caper plot and a feelgood song and dance score. Ricky Gervais is the biggest human name, but we know who the real stars are.