Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.
So we rushed to this giant building where popped corn with a fake butter costs $9 a bag, trying to see DOCTOR STRANGE, except we were crazy late. Instead, we watched ARRIVAL.
Didn’t expect much. Wasn’t hankering to see it.
Had to be convinced to see the thing at all.
Except, except, except … this movie rocked.
Warning: this post doesn’t contain spoilers, except for fake spoilers I’ll throw in, just for fun.
Unlike 99.9 percent of Aliens Invade movies, there are no massive battles featuring (a) aircraft carriers getting blown out of the water by amazing alien ray guns, (b) jet fighters flown by proud Americans getting shot out of the sky by alien ray guns, (c) Michael-Bay style explosions as the Statue of Liberty, the White House and another random landmark get vaporized, (d) valiant efforts by the nerdy scientist and the jock warrior, teaming up to defeat the aliens using (e) a laptop, USB sticks and a stolen alien spaceships and/or ray gun.
ARRIVAL simply features Lois Lane and Hawkeye trying to figure out how these aliens talk.
And it works.
This is a brainy movie, which I’m sure was a hard sell down in Hollywood, where studio execs had to read the script and say, “Are you sure about spending five bazillion dollars to hire Lois Lane and Hawkeye, then not use them in chase scenes, fight scenes and a fight scene during a chase? They’re gonna argue about linguistic theory instead?”
Yeah, it sounds dull. Except it’s not.
This is a brainy movie, an unusual one that makes you think AND feel, all the while caring deeply about the characters, who are typically cardboard–if we’re lucky–in the typical Aliens Invade So Let’s Blow Things Up blockbuster.
TL;DR–Aliens show up, why? Lois Lane and Hawkeye are on it. 10 of 10 would watch again, despite the fact dust may get in your eyes.
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.