“Arrival” is an exceptional science fiction film that doesn’t rely on the played out destruction and chaos that alien movies typically fall victim to. Director Denis Villenueve did a wonderful job adapting Ted Chiang’s 1998 novella, ‘Story of Your Life’ in this modern day blockbuster.
The film follows Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), the world’s leading linguistic expert who is recruited by the US military to attempt to communicate with an alien species after several UFOs appear in various locations across the globe.
Jeremy Renner plays opposite Adams as Ian Donnely, a leading theoretic physicist who is tasked with assisting Louise’s (Adams) attempts to communicate with the unknown alien species. To say any more would give away valuable spoilers in a very deep film, which I strongly recommend everyone go see for themselves.
The entire cast does a fantastic job in the movie, Renner’s portrayal in particular was very believable as he became a likable genius in Ian. Adams is exemplary throughout, looking truly fascinated and frightened in her interactions with the alien species. Her ability to piece together what can only be known as the world’s most complicated puzzle carries loads of excitement and is s treat to watch.
It is when Louise is uncovering bits of information about the alien language that we see Adams at her best, ferociously scrolling and manipulating a completely foreign and nearly incomprehensible language. After watching the film, I would not be surprised if Amy Adams is in fact the world’s leading linguistic expert.
Jeremy Renner is more limited in his role as Ian, but remains believable in his depiction of a somewhat arrogant if not charming scientist. He is great opposite Adams, and the two form a fierce, brainy on screen duo.
Overall, ‘Arrival’ is perhaps the best alien movie to have come out for several years. I cannot stress enough how refreshing the film is when compared to more recent sci-fi flicks like the bombastic, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’.
Villenueve puts together an extremely intelligent film that questions the practical senses of language as a whole. Adams fascinates viewers with her inane skill and linguistic knowledge/abilities. “Arrival” is so unique because of its focus on an alien invasion, without falling back on the old tropes of mass destruction and eminent war.
“Arrival” is an excellent movie and may go down as one of the best films of the year.