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Arrival Film Review

Updated on December 9, 2016
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is a film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Most films dealing with aliens have the visitors from outer space arriving with already hostile intentions. Usually the film will then boil down to one or two heroes to save the day. Thankfully, Arrival isn't your typical 'alien' film.

Louise, played by Amy Adams, is an expert linguist who teaches at a college and leads a pretty normal life. Then, news spreads like wildfire that 12 crafts have come to Earth. Attempts to communicate have been futile, though, because the alien beings are using sounds and symbols to try and communicate. The government becomes desperate, and contacts Louise to come in and help Ian, played by Jeremy Renner, in trying to successfully communicate with the aliens.

The film is definitely slower-paced than what people are used to, but that is okay. It takes its time in setting up the plot and doesn't rush through important points. In the end, I was thankful that director Dennis Villeneuve and the writers took this approach. This way, they could lay out the steps that realistically humankind would need to take should something like this happen. It's not "out there" or "over the top". It's actually believable and completely plausible. It's intellectual, and all the better for it.

The acting was a bit mixed. Amy Adams was her usual self. She rarely breaks her mold and for some actors that works. Amy can be different when she wants to be. In this case, there was really no need for her to put on a grandiose show so I can't count her performance against her here. Jeremy Renner had a solid performance and was probably the best of the whole cast.

All in all, I was impressed with how excellent the film was. From the look of the alien beings to the plot to the outcome, it was all excellent and a pleasure to watch. I give the film a total score of 3.5 out of 4.

© 2016 Alec Zander


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