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Movie Review: Arrival – Could Have Been Amazing, Settles for Great

Based on the Scifi short story “Story of Your Life” by┬áTed Chiang (which consequently got a Nebula Award in 2000) comes the latest Scifi thriller “Arrival”.

Despite how the trailer may make it look at some stage, this isn’t a run and gun Independence Day alien invasion film. This is a thoughtful film that’s content with slowly peeling back the communication barriers between two species. If you liked the nerdy aspects of The Martian, or the awe inspiring discoveries in the book Rendezvous With Rama then this movie is for you.

Here’s the trailer, although I’d recommend you skip it if you don’t want the joy of discovering things along with the characters stripped away.

I should note now that this film has nothing to do with the 1996 film The Arrival starring Charlie Sheen.

The Breakdown

In a nutshell the movie follows a language boffin who’s attempting to communicate with the new arrivals to our planet. Twelve sites around the world have also been visited, so various other boffins are all trying to work together to figure things out. However the issue of safety, secrets, and what other nations might do keeps everything on a knife edge.

Surprisingly it also has a lot to say about human life, but I won’t go into that aspect any further.

The Critique

This movie could have been totally baller, except it had to pander to idiots at some points because the film makers were worried not everyone would get it. Some points it could have let lie for a dormant realisation after the movie finishes it instead had to hammer home so no one felt left out. That’s about the only problem I had with this movie, they didn’t make it wanky and aloof enough for my wanky aloof asshole.

arrival-film-movie-army

Matt, our resident professional with an opinion was a little distracted during this one. “The aisle lights were too bright in the cinema, the movie was good though.”

He literally got up at one point to go ask someone whether they were going to dim a bit more at some point or not.

This is a mint scifi, you should watch it.