*** Be warned: this review contains some minor spoilers about the looks of the aliens and the language they speak! ***
What if aliens really existed? What if they visited our planet? What if some strange object came into our atmosphere – and we had no idea what it was or how to talk to it? What would we do? How would we respond? In kindness … or in fear?!
These and many more questions are answered in the latest alien-movie from Hollywood … but best prepare yourselves … this isn’t some wild, exciting mind-trip or a spectacular action movie! This is a lifeless lesson about learning a new language, a boring class that never seems to end!
Imagine if The Lord of the Rings wasn’t about Frodo and the companionship destroying the ring, but about teaching you the language of the Elves.
That’s pretty much what Arrival is about: it’s not about the aliens. It’s not about the two leading characters conducting an investigation. It’s about the language of these strange creatures, and how to understand what each drawing really means.
Whilst this may seem interesting on paper – and the start of the movie is certainly very well done – watching two scientists study the language of some octopus-alien creatures is not enough to fill a 2 hour movie.
And believe me, that’s all the movie is about, two scientists study the language. There’s literally nothing else to say …
On top of that, the language itself is very basic and boring. It’s a couple of circles where the edges may vary in density, depending on what word the aliens try to speak. Some circles have thick edges, other circles have smaller edges.
Really??? That’s the best you could come up with??
The aliens themselves are very well done. You never really see them up close – somehow they’re always covered in a layer of white mist – but when they do come close, it’s pretty creepy altogether.
The special effects are quite nice, but the movie spends more time breaking down the new language than putting on a good show!
As a last measure, there’s a whole bunch of flashbacks of Louise, the character played by Amy Adams. But the why and how of these mysterious dream sequences are completely lost in the empty story.
By the time you find out what they mean, you have either fallen asleep … or you simply don’t care anymore!
Not even Jeremy Renner in a fairly decent role or the ever-awesome Forest Whitaker can save this debacle from becoming any more interesting. They too have a front-row seat in this arduous close encounter of a third kind, but it’s all for nothing.
Arrival isn’t much more than a couple of scientists staring at a glass plate through which they can safely observe some large, 7-legged space monster.
Sometimes, doing things in a realistic way isn’t always the best option. Look at this movie … it tried to be like Contact (the very good Jodie Foster-space movie) but instead it became a foundation of boredom.
Did you know?
Director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer created a fully functioning, visual, alien language. Heisserer, Vermette and their teams managed to create a “logogram bible,” which included over a hundred different completely operative logo-grams, seventy-one of which are actually featured in the movie.
Give it to me short:
Arrival tries so hard to paint a picture of dire reality – despite the story dealing with space aliens – that they forgot how to entertain its audience. Granted, the acting of the three leading stars may be good (Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner & Forest Whitaker) but the writing is incredibly slow and boring at times. Plus, nothing – and I do mean, nothing!! – really happens in the movie … nothing!
There’s two scientists who are invited by the US government, who’re asked to enter some mysterious big black rock hanging in the sky and report back with what they learned – which, at first, is almost nothing – and it takes a very, very, very long time before the movie picks up any pace.
When that happens, all you get is more information on how to speak and understand the language of these mysterious alien beasts.
Maybe someone during the process of making this movie should’ve shouted: ‘Guys! When are we going to start the story … and stop introducing the alien language?’ It seems no one listened … and the movie fails miserably because of it.