You win Marvel.
I’m done trying to write funny reviews about your production line consistently 3-4 star interconnected movies. Who’s Dr Strange? Oh a cocky dude (played by Benedict Cuminsnatch) who will inevitably learn humility and or to trust in others by the end of his ark. What a unique and interesting concept, except for: Iron Man, Thor, Ant Man, Peter Quill and all the other supporting characters I can’t be assed to name.
I could bitch and moan about how when casting the leader of an ancient Nepalese cult they decided to not only cast a white person, but the whitest person in Tilda Swinton.
The worst part about Dr Strange though is that Marvel managed to do it again, another entertaining middle of the road accessible popcorn flick.
Arrival is the new film from Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners), and it may just be the most disappointing thing since I found out that chocolate Labradors don’t actually taste like chocolate. (ordering from the Korean BBQ dessert menu is always risky).
The plot is that alien ships arrive at 12 different seemingly random places around the world, and our efforts to communicate with them are hampered by the fact that there is no single unified human government and China seems hell bent on attacking them.
Firstly; that is a really good premise for a high concept science fiction film.
Secondly; America, you just elected a racist Cheeto as president, do you really think that you would be the nation advocating diplomacy?
As would be expected from the director behind Sicario, the film is technically brilliant with a haunting score, understated effects and excellent cinematography. If nothing else, Arrival will receive a numerous nominations come awards time.
The acting across the board was solid with a special shout-out to Amy Adams. She was so good that at times I was able to forget that Forest Whitaker’s lazy eye was staring out of the screen and trying to steal my very soul.
Ok, enough lazy jokes about the physical disabilities of famous actors for this review (your time will come Christopher Reeve), let’s address the elephant in the room… You have a solid premise, top notch cast and crew, and a healthy budget. What could go wrong?
Well you could act like M. Night Shayamalan trying to ape Interstellar by including an extraneous twist three quarters of the way through the runtime. Because I’m a nice guy, I won’t reveal what the twist is, but rest assured it fits in the movie as elegantly as seamlessly as a joke about dead babies does in a nursery. The whole movie seemed to get worse after this reveal with even the acting becoming more stilted and the dialogue so cliché that the script might as well have been auto finished by this loathsome bastard:
Villeneuve is set to direct the long anticipated (and equally dreaded) Blade Runner sequel. And honestly if Arrival is anything to go on, the best thing that can happen is for Blade Runner 2049 to never see the light of day. Who knows perhaps we will get lucky and Harrison Ford will die during filming. What? I’m not a monster; I’m not starting a Kickstarter to kill Harrison Ford. It’s just that he isn’t needed for Star Wars anymore and his death wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen.
I can’t in good nature recommend Arrival, If you are looking for a hopeful science fiction movie go watch The Martian, if you are looking for comment on society go watch District 9 and If you are looking for smart contemporary critique, then why the hell are you reading this site?