If you haven’t seen it, here’s what you need to know: Do.
Denis Villeneuve, the director of Sicario — and the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel — and, thrillingly, a just-confirmed adaptation of Dune — brings the goods. It helps that he’s got two of the industry’s best actors in Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. It helps that the hilariously named composer Jóhann Jóhannsson is there to make the room shake. It helps that his DP, Bradford Young, knows how to paint with light instead of merely shoot with it.
It helps, basically, that this is one of those movies where everybody involved is doing good work.
Even better, Arrival is high-concept alien material, but it’s decidedly NOT dumb or explode-y or particularly “Hollywood.” It’s closer in spirit to some thing like Contact; a movie that capably entertains while asking interesting questions.
It investigates the nature of communication, silhouetting the problems we see every day in our own political arenas and media circuses against the world-changing event of an alien spaceship touching down in Montana. There are times where it resembles a modern-day The Day the Earth Stood Still.
But unlike that movie, there’s even a surprisingly resonant character story smuggled inside the hard sci-fi trappings.
In short, it’s great. And now you have a second chance to see it on the big screen.
This has been a PSA.
-David Rice, Outpost editor & fx artist