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Film Review - Arrival, The
In the Summer of 1996, when we were all rushing off to see the White House get blown up in Independence Day, another film was completely lost in the debris.
The Arrival is also a movie about aliens who have come to take over the Earth, aliens who have decided to kill us off because they need the resources. In a strange way, this is a more believable film -- if a movie about aliens killing off all the humans on the Earth can be believable.
The aliens in this film are engineering global warming. To them, this is the ideal environment, and to us, it will be a disaster. The aliens have been using human greed as a tool to get us to do their dirty work.
Charlie Sheen is the astrophysicist who stumbles upon a message from the aliens. Sheen's world begins to crumble as soon as he begins telling people about the discovery. Turns out these aliens are in every important seat of power. Sheen is in big trouble.
The conspiracy ideas here remind you of the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. The idea that the enemy has agents in every important place has driven many a film into a frenzy. The Arrival uses this tried-and-true hook to give Sheen formidable foes. Perhaps it's why this movie works a little better than Independence Day. The film could have easily been about aliens from Nazi Germany in World War II, whereas Independence Day required special effects because, well, there wasn't much to those aliens.
But we're still not talking Oscar winner here. This is a simple film that plays well on your emotions. The depth of this film is lacking; but then, this was a summer film.
Directed by David N. Twohy
Released in 1996
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo