Arrival is a smart movie. Then again, in a world dominated by Marvel and D.C, any alien movie without hyperbolic action scenes can come off as unusually cerebral. Arrival follows Amy Adams’ Dr Louise Banks, a professor of Linguistics who is tasked with communicating with Earth’s newly arrived foreign guests.
Arrival is a beautiful piece of art – not a phrase you would usually equate with the”alien movie” genre. It does not rely on the sci-fi tropes so many of its kin count on, and it is perhaps a little bit less entertaining for it. The film features strong performances by its star Amy Adams, as well as its supporting cast including Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
A nod must go to Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything), who wrote the score for this film. The eerie and dubious score is used expertly to make what would be a cerebral exercise exploring the capacity of language, into an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Indeed, the combination of music and masterful direction by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) ensures a level of intrigue throughout the film
Arrival tinkers with the relationship between language and time without fully committing to its exploration. In a post-Interstellar world, this may leave some moviegoers feeling slightly dejected at the film’s conclusion.
Arrival is an intelligent, new take on a classic trope that will be enjoyable to sci-fi fans and geeks. It’s not for everyone, though, especially if you’re looking for something more War of the Worlds and a little less Gravity.
A wonderfully intellectual take on a classic trope.