Archive Review: Arrival (2016)

Smart Sci-Fi like these are among my favourites in the genre.  I love a space battle as much as the next person, but Sci-Fi like this can knock your socks off.

Certificate: 12A

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Screenwriter: Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang (based on the story by)

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touchdown in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind – From IMDB

I love a Science Fiction film with space ships and laser battles and wacky planets as much as the next person, but every now and then, a really intelligent sci fi film will come along, like this one, that will just stun me.  This film has none of the Sci-Fi tropes that fans of the genre love so much, and yet it is still a fantastic example of how great and diverse the genre can be.  That is the truly great thing about Sci-Fi, you can literally do anything with it.  As long as you can sell it convincingly, and don’t confuse or bore your audience, (I am looking at you Interstellar) then a smart, intelligent Sci-Fi film can be just as awe-inspiring as any gigantic space battle.

Outside of her role as Lois Lane, I couldn’t remember Seeing Amy Adams play this serious of a role.  Most of the films I see her in are a form of comedy.  So it was refreshing to see that she could deliver something different and do it so well.  And outside of the MCU I don’t really think I had seen Jeremy Renner in much at all that was memorable, and while he is very much the secondary character to Adams’ Louise, he still plays this role with a lot of heart.  Amy Adams carries the majority of this film, both through ‘flashbacks’ and present day stories, and the more we learn about her character the more complex and heart-breaking the story becomes. 

This is the second time I have seen this film, I watched it in the cinema originally, and while I didn’t remember the twist that come towards the end, I was able to figure it out pretty early on.  And I remember doing the same in the cinema at the time.  But the clever thing is, although you may figure out what is happening, you don’t really understand why or how, for that you have to stick around for the big reveal.  So figuring out the twist isn’t a deal breaker for me.

Fans of films like ‘Intersteller’ and ‘The Martian’ will definitely have a good time with this one, and I for one hope we get a few more Sci-Fi films like this coming soon.  OK, so at this point I am hoping we get any kind of film sometime soon, but more intelligent Sci-Fi is higher up the list then most.

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