Monday, January 23, 2017

Arrival (2016): Review

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Going into watching Arrival I wasn't sure what to expect, I had heard good things about it but then also that it was over hyped. I found it to be somewhere in the middle. It was alright overall, nothing really special, and with CGI that was poorer that what I would expect from a movie that spent money on big named actors.

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Arrival stars Amy Adams as Louise Banks, a language expert who is brought in along with Jeremy Renner's scientist Ian Donally by Colonel Webber, played by Forrest Whitaker, to try and communicate with an alien race that has landed twelve shell shaped space ships around the world.  She works to try and figure out their language and communicate with the heptapods (what they call the aliens) while the world is trying to figure out what the purpose of the aliens arrival.  While she is trying to communicate with the aliens she experiences flashes of her life with her daughter.

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This movie was basically alright, although I don't feel like it was a truly special or unique. It focused on Louise and her process of figuring out how to communicate with the hetapods, it tried to explain her process and the basics of their language but didn't really go into it, and this movie wasn't really a suspense or thriller of any kind. To me, it was a sci-fi drama. There is no real action or suspense just the conflict of what could happen on earth if an alien species came to earth and landed in different countries around the world. There was also some conflict with in the group that seemed really forced and wasn't developed and could have been completely left out. For a alien movie it seemed really humanity based.

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I think the acting was good and I was even surprised that I didn't mind Forrest Whitaker, as I usually don't like him and the weird ways he interprets characters. In this he was a bland government man that really could have been played by anyone. The stars were Amy Adams with support from Jeremy Renner, as both of them are good actors they did well, although there could have been more chemistry between the two of them. At times, Adams was a bit wooden but overall she portrayed the stress and overworked aspects of her character.

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Although the movie was nothing special, I didn't like what it did around the hour and a half mark as it seemed like they were rushing to be able to wrap up the end of the movie and this is where the CGI gets really bad. I don't like it when CGI is used in this way as it is noticeable and distracting when I think they are going for wondrous and to make you feel like you are in the middle of what the character is experiencing.

Overall this movie is alright but nothing that I think you need to rush out and see. It doesn't really grab me or evoke emotions that I need from movies to think they are better or have a desire to watch over again. I can understand why Amy Adams was nominated for her role, it just would have been better if the movie itself wasn't so unremarkable.

My Rating: 2+

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