Arrival - This Movie Cosmically Rocks
Dir: Denis Villeneuve
Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaaker
Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is the smart science fiction movie for grown ups that we’ve been waiting years for. A direct descendent of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and paying more than a passing nod to the monolithic, evolutionary notions of Kubrick’s Odyssey, this is a provocative, thoughtful and ultimately deeply moving piece.
When twelve large shell-like craft suddenly appear at key though seemingly unrelated points all over the world, you could be mistaken for thinking you’ve walked in on Independence Day 3. But Villeneuve’s film is concerned with so much more than that. Army man Whitaker recruits linguist Adams and Jeremy (everyone's least favourite Avenger) Renner's scientist to help the US side of things make some form of contact with the beings on board the craft, labelled heptopods, and largely obscured by mist and a glass barrier. The characters – and the movie – aims to determine their reasons and intent for being here. But what Adams and co discover is so much more than that. As her memories of her recently deceased daughter cloud her mind, the movie takes us on a trip that once again echoes the final moments of 2001. But without the Trumball cosmic ride. Indeed, for a movie on this scale, the fx side of things is kept to a minimum, with the experience of this arrival being far important that merely visualising it.
Villeneuve has instead made an impressive, engrossing, at times confounding, at times profoundly moving movie that explores the nature of time and even our place in the universe. Beautiful to look at, resonant to ponder over long after the final light has faded.
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