Arrival provides a refreshing take on the usual explosion orgy that we are used to in these invasion movies. A quietly enticing story that has both intrigue and emotion.
12 oval shaped UFO’s arrive and plonk themselves around Earth leaving mankind a little freaked out. Amy Adams plays Dr Louise Banks, a linguistics professor, who is thrown into the extraordinary situation of needing to find out how to communicate with these foreign invaders so the humans can work out if they want to kill them or not. She is joined in her task by Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), a military scientist who comes with suitable bravado, banter and a wee bit of sexual tension. Supporting cast includes the brilliant Forest Whitaker as Col Weber and Michael Stuhlbarg as CIA chief Halpern.
While Dr Banks tries and fails to connect with the aliens at first she eventually succeeds by, well, being human and not military personal in a protective suit. Once this connection begins, her journey of discovery about these new extra terrestrial brings more than she could have ever imagined.
The film looks stunning and despite the lack of big action that we are used to in these sorts of scenarios the film manages an attention keeping pace. Adams is wonderful as the introverted and passionate Dr Banks and her chemistry and bonding with co-star Renner is both believable and endearing.
The ‘contact’ scenes with Banks and the aliens are mesmerising and look and feel mysterious, curious and atmospheric thanks to the great acting and the direction from Denis Villeneuve.
Arrival is definitely a close encounter worth having at the cinema this November.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar.
Arrival is out in NZ Cinemas 10 November.