Arrival :: Awesome and Entertaining But Ultimately Underwhelming…

Cineville - Arrival

Arrival is an enjoyable and at times undoubtedly awesome film, but ultimately I found it a little silly. I understand I may be in a minority.

I understand a lot of people are soiling themselves with excitement and calling it the greatest sci-fi movie of all time – and there were things I really loved about it, for sure. I particularly enjoyed the central character, Louise Banks, and the fact that it’s her communication skills that are called upon to save the planet – but in the end, at the end of the day, the whole time thing just left me a little underwhelmed.

Cineville - Arrival


I mean, it worked philosophically, and I enjoyed the echoes of Kilgore Trout and the Tralfamadorians in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, but as far as the plot went and the shenanigans with General Shang’s wife … no. I mean, I won’t go into detail as I don’t want to drop any major spoilers, but I don’t believe it holds water. I could be wrong of course. Time has been known to get the better of me. Space too come to think of it.

Even if I am right of course, and it definitely actually does make no sense at all, that shouldn’t really mess with my enjoyment of the film, but the fact that it did, probably means that the film and I were already not connecting in some pretty significant ways. I guess I just didn’t connect with the characters all that deeply, and ultimately, the film didn’t move me. It awed me in places. But it didn’t move me.

Not to worry.

Oh, and hasn’t Forest Whitaker lost weight?

Cineville - Arrival


Shrub Whitaker more like.

Eh? 

Eh? 


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The Viewing

I can’t remember anything special happening at the viewing. Except that someone was in my favourite seat. But I coped.


Update: It’s Saturday 19 November and I’m listening to this week’s episode of Kermode and Mayo’s Weekly Film Review and I really think I should maybe see Arrival again. So many people really love it and speak so very eloquently of it that I think I may have missed something important. And I hate that. 

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I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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