Thursday, December 1, 2016

If You Write It, They Will Come

Or something like that.

"Arrival" is one of those sci-fi movies that reminded me of when I took Advanced Placement World History in high school.   I was completely in over my head but still I sort of understood what was going on.   

Indeed, to call "Arrival" a sci-fi movie is sort of like calling the recent Presidential election a garden party.   The film features zero scares.   Don't think "The Thing" is lurking around the corner.   Or that some "Alien" is going to pop up from somebody's stomach.   These creatures are the dullest ever to visit Earth from another land.  It's almost like they show up here so they can watch "Downton Abbey" on PBS.

Still they come.   In these giant gray metal bananas that hover over the ground.   Twelve of them show up scattered all over the Earth.  The US's invasion happens in Montana, which means that these aliens probably didn't listen to their travel agents.   I mean, if you want to visit Earth, wouldn't you want an ocean view?  

As they hover and make incomprehensible noises, Amy Adams as a college professor of linguistics is engaged by the government to make sense of it all.   She ends up regularly meeting with two giant alien hands they call Abbott and Costello.   She tries to make sense of the symbols these hands make with these squid-like ink emissions.

And, er, that's the movie, folks.

Of course, the notion is that they have come to attack, but, in reality, they are so tame that they seemingly have come to Earth to apply for library cards. The mystery of what they are saying and writing dovetails with Adams' back story being a parent whose young daughter has succumbed to cancer.   You keep seeing these images so you know they will tie in.   When they show you how, you basically chew on your Red Vine and say "Oh, okay."

Cue the closing credits.

Don't get me wrong.   "Arrival" is well-acted, especially by Adams.   Although a bit on the dreary side, the images are impressive.  And the film does hold your interest.  But, when it finally happens, you utter one more time.  

"Oh, okay."

LEN'S RATING:   Two-and-a-half stars.

Dinner last night:  Pork chop on a bed of sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and garlic.

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