The Movie Buff November: Arrival

Colby "The Movie Buff" Perron reviews the fantastic sci-fi drama movie, "Arrival."

The Movie Buff November: Arrival

Colby Perron, Staff Writer

Okay, so before I start this review, I’d just like to make a shout out to the man who decided to recline all the way back in his chair so that my knees were crushed down. You sir, are the worst type of human being.

Hello, I’m the Movie Buff, and this month, I will be reviewing the best movie that I have seen all year: “Arrival.” Now, as you know, I have seen a lot of movies this year, so that’s a pretty bold statement, especially going up against “Deadpool,” “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “The Nice Guys,” and of course, “The Revenant,” but I really hold this movie to that title.

The plot of this movie is very convoluted, so I’m going to try my best to explain without giving any spoilers. So it stars Amy Adams as Louise Banks, a divorced linguist with a troubled past involving her family, but is the number one on the government’s list to translate secret messages. One day, 12 mysterious extraterrestrial ships touch down on Earth, each in a very unique spot, landing in places from the Black Sea in Russia to above the Pacific Ocean near China. At the Montana site, Banks is hired to make contact with whatever was in the ships in order to reveal their intentions.

Paired up with physicist Ian Donnelly (played by Jeremy Renner of “The Avengers” fame), and Colonel Weber (played by Forest Whitaker), Banks is able to successfully get entrance into the ship and begins to attempt communication before other nations decide to attack.

The thing I really liked about this movie was how realistic it was. Director Denis Villeneuve is very good at capturing a grand issue but making it feel very realistic and personal (as seen in his prior movies “Sicario” and “Prisoners”. Sure, it involved aliens, but the way they were handled, it felt extremely real. It wasn’t about aliens coming down to destroy humanity and corrupt civilization and bring about mass hysteria (looking at you “Independence Day”), but instead it’s about first contact and humanity’s response to it. The aliens are used sparingly, not even requiring more screen time then they have, because in all reality, this is a movie that uses aliens simply to talk about humanity.

But one thing stood out above everything else in this movie and that was the surprise twist. Not giving out anything about the twist, but what I do have to say is that it was the best twist since “The Sixth Sense.” Putting twists in movies like “Fight Club” and “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” to shame, this was totally unpredictable and made the movie infinitely better.

It is a slow burn, however, and anyone looking to go see aliens destroying the White House should skip out on this one (looking at you Matt Mullins). But if you enjoy an amazing, thought provoking, intellectual movie, I recommend this one for sure. If it is not nominated for best picture, best actress, best supporting actor, and best director among others at this year’s Academy Awards, somebody has failed us.

Nothing about this movie was unlikeable and it will hold the title of “Best Movie of the Year” until the end of the year (unless “Rogue One” comes out as the best Star Wars movie ever). So definitely go and see “Arrival” and make sure it makes all of the money. I would hate to see such a fantastic piece of art flop. Until next time, this has been the Movie Buff.