“Arrival” movie review



This movie should have been about either a person who could see the future and what they did about it, or about people communicating with aliens. Not both. The two storylines didn’t fit together. The story of communication with aliens was more fleshed out, but it could have been better and more exciting if the movie had just been about that. The whole thing about seeing the future and time not being linear wasn’t given nearly enough time or thought. If anything, it detracted from the story.

The premise of the story was interesting, but it didn’t end up being the way I was hoping it would. It should have involved more discussion between the countries, more detail in how Louise decoded the language, and a more satisfying ending. (That ending might be the least satisfying one in any movie I’ve ever watched. Nothing happened! The aliens just left!)

I’ll admit that some parts were interesting. I wished it went into more depth about how they communicated with the aliens, besides the fact that Louise somehow knew the method they used and what their signs meant. The movie showed a sped-up version of teaching the aliens our language, as if the movie wanted to get that over with so that it could focus on Louise’s weird foreshadowing powers.

There were so many things that should have been explained. Like “Time isn’t linear.” What? At least explain what that means, don’t just say it and leave it at that.

The characters weren’t bad, but they weren’t all that great either. The only slightly interesting one was Louise, but she was interesting only because of the foreshadowing thing, which was too weird to have her be believable.

There was no explanation behind any of it. Why did only Louise have that power? What order did things happen in? Is she just going to live her life, knowing how badly it will turn out? Would she try to do something different to change things?

See what I mean? If the movie had been about Louise and her ability, or about communicating with aliens, it would have worked better. Not both storylines at the same time.

I’m honestly curious to know why it got such good reviews everywhere—94% on Rotten Tomatoes!

I’ll give it between 2.5 and 3 stars.



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