(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Arrival is an interesting sci-fi film, however, it suffers from being too much of a sci-fi film and it was underwhelming in the end!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
I haven’t really talked about sci-fi films here. Generally, I do enjoy them. Probably one of my biggest problems is that they get too intelligent and complex for most people to enjoy. In other words, their scientific jargon in its appropriate setting can be too much for me to enjoy. Any sci-fi film that has a cool action payoff is worth a watch for me, however if it is just too high of a concept for a feeble mind like mine, it can be too exhausting. If the film makes it interesting, creepy, and fun to watch, it is worth my time. Some of my favorite types of sci-fi movies are Gravity, Interstellar, and of course 2001: A Space Odyssey. Arrival is no different, and I got what I expected, but not enough for me to like it.
What I Like: The story is very, very interesting. Space pods called, “Shells,” have landed in different parts of Earth including Montana. The military has a group of scientists and experts try and communicate with the aliens on the ship. It is interesting how they try to communicate with the aliens, and how step by step they managed to create a form of writing which the aliens make and finally understand what they are trying to say. I also enjoyed the political aspects of the story where the whole world is trying to work together to figure out why these aliens are here. Of course that leads to political anguish where some countries are too impatient and want to start a war. I thought Amy Adams playing a linguistic professor, Dr. Louise Banks, did a tremendous job as the person trying to communicate and understand the aliens. I like how she takes risks to achieve her goal, and how in the end, she was the one to be trusted to do the right thing and figure it all out.
The So So: Part of the cast was Jeremy Renner, playing astrophysicist Ian Donnelly, and Forest Whitaker playing senior military officer Colonel Weber. They played their roles very well, but I thought their roles weren’t above and beyond their acting repertoire. They could have saved money for lower profile actors to play their roles. One was there to have chemistry with Amy Adams, and the other played the jerk and impatient leader. Like I said, these guys played their roles well, but I wasn’t as impressed with them as I was with Amy Adams.
What I Didn’t Like: First, the aliens weren’t scary looking at all. It lacked the creepiness for an alien film which I was expecting. Even if they were nice aliens, at least give me some creepiness at the beginning. The other thing is that this film focused on one big intelligent thing which got too much for me to bear and I just wanted the movie to get to the point. The whole movie focused on people trying to decipher their symbolic language to figure out the aliens’ purpose on Earth. In the end, it was too underwhelming. Pretty much the aliens wanted to give a gift of time where the humans can see the future with their formulas. That way the humans can help them out in the future. The big twist which was underwhelming and predictable is that Dr. Banks visions of her daughter’s death wasn’t in the past, but in the future and she decides to go through with it anyway. Once it ended I felt I was missing something, and I really hate that feeling. I expected something cooler and creepier, instead I got smarter but not in a good way. (For that, I rather go back to college and study science.)
Overall: The movie started off with promise, but when it develops, it became confusing and really underwhelming. It’s disappointing, but I give credit to Amy Adams who was the real bright spot in this film. Just not enough to get the Oscars attention!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
(Sidenote: Puerto Ricans in Paris- The title of this film really piqued my curiosity to check it out. It is a typical buddy cop film that featured Luis Guzman as a detective, who goes to Paris to solve a mystery of a missing Louis Vuitton bag. Can it be dumb and formulaic, yes, but the comedy wasn’t too bad for me to really hate this film. I’m glad it wasn’t too stereotypical for Puerto Ricans and it actually shows some good sides about the “Boricuas.” Unfortunately the story wasn’t great!!!
Rating: 2.5 Stars)