Arrival: Movie Review
We have to say it. The sci-fi genre has definitely seen better days. While there’s the occasional brave film that tries to be different, it’s mostly a CGI-filled experience nowadays focused more on thrills and spills. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, it has been a lot of fun. But with the arrival of “Arrival” (sorry for the pun!), it hearkens back to an era where sci-fi meant more than just being blasted with visual and aural noise.
When mysterious spacecrafts touches down on random locations across the globe, a team of experts led by linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is formed to try to understand the purpose of their visit. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and her group race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.
We just realized something, “Arrival” never leaves Earth. This is a sci-fi film that is grounded on taking the experience of “alien invasion” as visceral as possible. Not visceral in terms of the guns-a-blazing approach but more on how the world in general will react to an outside threat. How governments might band together to fight an enemy unknown or how humans will try to make contact and understand what the hell they want with us. The film mostly succeeds on this regard. The narrative is gripping and intelligent but it does have the occasional hiccup. This is mostly brought in by its non-linear approach in terms of its story-telling. But this non-linearity is also very important to the revelation near the end of the film. So it might be confusing at first but once you get it, “Arrival” will definitely leave a lasting mark on you, the viewer. Much has been said about the film’s acting and we agree, Amy Adams and the cast were all outstanding. Adams in particular was able to convey the inner strengths and struggles of her character - not only with the weight of trying to understand these beings from outer space and save the world - but also her challenge as a mother who lost her child. In an era where sci-fi rarely makes people think beyond, “Arrival” is huge refresher and a reminder of why sci-fi is a significant genre in any kind medium.
Why you should watch it:
- does something that we rarely see in sci=fi films nowadays
- outstanding acting from Amy Adams
Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the non-linear approach might alienate some
Labels Amy Adams, Arrival, Denis Villenueve, drama, Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner, Michael Stuhlbarg, movie review, scifi, Tzi Ma