Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Arrival (1996)

The truth is out there but closer than we thought

Certain media has come along ranging from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to "The X-Files" that made it possible for the kooks to buddy up with the crossed-armed cinema goers who are on the fence about intelligent lifeforms from outside of Earth. "The Arrival" is a film that appeals to a wider audience due to its continual action, along with a global message in its wake that affects us all.

Zane Zaminsky, a radio astronomer, works in a job that in real life would be about as exciting as watching cows graze to most folks. Though for cinematic effect, this paranoid chair-jockey catches on to a massive conspiracy theory that the public has not a clue. It's a good thing we have Mr. ZZ flat top to undercover the truth no matter if it might risk him his job, family or freedom. He's a big-screen archetype that's self-sacrificing in his ways and uses his convenient scientific skills to fence off bad guys that range from charismatic to cookie-cutter at every turn.

"The Arrival" on the surface is meant for basic entertainment. Apart from watching the main character figure out all his steps and moves on his own, the only time the brain starts to kick in is towards the latter part of the film with the truth coming out. Locales change and nifty devices are shown with state of the art CGI for its day. Though some of the film mechanics are dated as this is a "movie-movie": something that isn't grounded with real characters and full of events that are meant to look like trial and error but feel guided to go a certain way with the story. Its main perk is its constant traction forward, which makes it feel more like a suspense thriller than a sci-fi/action movie like "Independence Day."

Rating: 6/10

Director: David Twohy (Timescape, writer - Warlock, The Fugitive, Waterworld)
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Crouse, Richard Schiff
Link: IMDB

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