Arrival (2016) – Review

An expert in linguistics, Louise Banks (Amy Adams), fronts a group of elite investigators when twelve unknown spaceships touchdown in twelve different locations around the globe. With tensions between nations soaring, the team of investigators must find a way to communicate with the extra-terrestrial visitors before it’s too late. A highly acclaimed movie that was originally released in 2016 and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Over recent years, Sci-Fi lovers have been fortunate enough to witness some really appealing cinematic releases, ranging all the way from Gravity (2013), Interstellar (2014), The Martian (2015) or Ad Astra (2019), and it’s fair to say that Arrival, for the most part, was no different. The filmmakers provided a really unique concept that provided great intrigue in the early stages of the film, ultimately, however, that intrigue petered out and a large majority of this one was spent watching humans trying to understand and consequently, communicate, with the unknown alien creatures.

The creatures themselves were somewhat of a selling point. No over the top CGI was used, but at the same time, there wasn’t much need for CGI, considering the large, seven-limbed, heptapod creatures, did little-to-nothing throughout the entire story, other than thrust bizarre circular shapes into the frame.

For sure, Arrival contained more positives than negatives, two of those positives coming in the form of the beautiful cinematography and soundtrack on display – these two aspects alone make Arrival worthy of at least one play-through for any Sci-Fi lover out there. With that being said, there were flaws. The flick was extremely slow in nature, not just the majority of the scenes and story in general, but also the long, drawn out dialogue that most of the characters produced. To say the film had an almost two-hour runtime, it was surprising to me that very little actually happened in terms of substance. If you’re hoping for sheer action or edge of your seat moments, you’ll be left disappointed.

In terms of the cast, Amy Adams starred as Louise Banks, spearheading most scenes and doing a good job doing so, while Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker provided support, adopting the roles of Ian Donnelly and Colonel Weber, respectively.

All in all, I don’t think I disliked Arrival, but at the same time, I certainly didn’t love the flick either. If you’re a Sci-Fi fan or even into films that present something unique and unorthodox, then you may enjoy this, especially considering the easy on the eye cinematography. As previously mentioned, Arrival is currently streaming on Netflix.

“If you immerse yourself into a foreign language, then you can actually rewire your brain.”

Ian Donnelly – Arrival

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