Recently, a friend lent me the movie, Arrival. She did not like the movie and wanted my opinion. So I watched it with the anticipation that I would not enjoy it. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. However, I understood my friend’s issues with the story as well as some of the praise for the movie. As I put it, I enjoyed the movie but would probably never watch it again. The story opens with Dr. Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams), a Linguistic professor, on the day “they” arrive. Twelve total locations throughout the world. Colonel G.T. Weber (played by Forest Whitaker) comes to her for a translation of the aliens’ speech. She’s taken to the Montana site with Dr. Ian Donnelly (played by Jeremy Renner), a theoretical physicist. She works out a system to learn their language and figure out why they are here. Will she figure out in time before the world sees their arrival as a threat? Can she help convince them of their message?
I liked that Arrival was a different type of alien movie. It wasn’t Independence Day or the Alien franchise where the aliens are killing machines. I liked that they had a possible benevolent motive for coming to Earth. I liked that it made you pay attention as Louise has flashbacks. Are they memories or something else? The main criticism I have with Arrival is that it is a very talky movie. It’s mostly dialogue with very little action which I think a lot of people had issue with because they are used to such a dialogue-filled movie like this. However, the dialogue fit. I don’t think anything as out of place or unimportant in the grand scheme of the story. It is definitely a movie you need to pay attention to. Lose focus for one minute and you may be lost for the rest of the movie.
This review is very short and sweet compared to my other reviews. There really isn’t anything to say about it. I read other reviews both raves and highly critical. Both talked about the same features but they either liked it or hated it. The movie is 116 minutes and it is a very dialogue filled movie with very little action. Overall, I feel confused about if I liked the movie or not. On one hand I enjoyed trying to figure out the meaning of Louise’s “visions” and once I did, the movie seemed to click. On the other hand, it is not a movie I would have gone out to see or rent. If my friend hadn’t lent me the movie, I probably would never have watched it. If the movie sounds like the type of film you’d enjoy, I recommend it. If you like action and fights or something else, this is not the movie for you.