Normally, in the movies, when the aliens arrive, destruction follows. For that reason alone, the latest movie from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is worth the price of admission. On a week when there’s so much uncertainty, it’s nice to know that when the aliens do come there will be level-headed, optimistic scientists ready to provide the Rosetta stone to inter-species communication. At least that’s what I got from The Arrival.
The most surprising thing about The Arrival to me was that while the trailer sold it as this cool, clinical film that involves the eternal clash of intentions between the military and pure science, it’s actually rather sentimental. Sentimentality doesn’t always translate over the long-term, so it will be interesting to see how The Arrival is viewed in the years to come, but a probing, emotional dissection of one of philosophy’s most fundamental questions was something I wasn’t expecting when I walked into the cinema. That’s all I’ll say on the matter lest I spoil something.
You can read my review of The Arrival on Nerd Bastards here.