Landing dead on ‘Arrival’

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 at 4:31 PM
Landing dead on ‘Arrival’ by Gabriel Hypes

“Arrival” is a slowly paced sci-fi flick that doesn't play out like traditional alien films. It does register as a fresh look at the genre — an intelligent and nerve-racking experience — but that’s pretty much it. Opposing films like “Alien,” the main focus of “Arrival” is on the human race and how we, as humans, would react to a first contact.

With a lot of what is going on today, it seems like the perfect time for the film. How would we react to 12 alien spaceships settling on Earth? Would we believe that another species could be peaceful, or would we assume the worst and prepare for war? “Arrival” focuses exactly on that. Without going into too much detail, it’s a nightmare that only patience and understanding can solve.

To save the human race, we have to communicate with the aliens, understand their language, and help them understand ours. Would we try to solve the problems with violence, or would we find out why they came? That’s where the patience of “Arrival” comes in, slowing the movie down, nearly to a halt at times. But I do believe this pacing added something to the movie and drew out the mystery of the aliens well.

Without mentioning the mystery, “Arrival” feels lacking in every category. First off, almost all the dialogue felt cheesy and unreal. A good bit of Louise's (Amy Adams) dialogue left me saying "Who talks like that?" Also, Ian (Jeremy Renner) just seems so unnecessary. He seemed like he didn’t do much and was only around to wrap up a better ending.

Speaking of the ending, it was meant to have you on the edge of your seat and shocked when you finally learned the truth. But, it was mostly obvious and took impact out of the conclusion. Even if you somehow did not see it coming, the ending still is not something to write home about.

“Arrival” was a huge disappointment for this sci-fi fan. I can appreciate it for what it was trying to do, but I just feel it didn’t do it well.

The Academy would disagree with me, though, as “Arrival” is nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture. So, you should probably see the movie for yourself, but if you're like me, you are not going to like it.

Gabriel Hypes can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com. 

Tags: film review

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