woensdag 23 november 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 152: Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Description: A linguist (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.

Review: When Canadian direcot Denis Villeneuve signed to direct the lon awaited sequel to “Blade Runner”, it didn’t get the fans excited. Villeneuve did make some successful, dark thriller, but had no experience with science fiction yet. It’s “Arrival” that has to change those minds. And this is without a doubt one of the best science fiction films of the past ten years.
Twelve unknown spacecrafts arrive on planet earth and are spread out over several locations on our planet. Of course people panic. If you expect anything like “Independence Day”, you’re wrong. Villeneuve’s take on this theme is on a smaller scale. Linguistics expert Louise Banks is called in to help the military to communicate with the extra terrestrials. A tough job, because the aliens have nothing in common physically and linguistically with humans. Louise has to build up to that one question: Why are you here?
The communicatiosn with extra terrestrials isn’t a new given in Hollywood, just look at “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or “Contact”. “Arrival” lifts it to another level though, to center this theme completely. Villeneuve captivates us with a very impressive lesson in linguistics. He goes deep into that and it’s fascinating. Louise has to teach the aliens the basics of the human language, when the respons she gets is anything but easy to understand. They are simply circle shaped signs, that disappear as fast as they appear.
Villeneuve manages to weave tension and stuff to think about. If you think that it will lead to a dull film with lots of info about communication, you will definitely be surprised. It’s a battle against time for Louise, a battle against the prejudices. Amy Adams does this very convicing, she carries this film easily. Adams proofs she is one of the best actresses out there. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker are both solid.
I was already a fan of Villeneuve’s previous film. But now he showed us he can handle science fiction too, so that “Blade Runner” sequel is in good hands. “Arrival” is one of the best films of 2016.

Rating: 5/ 5

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