Dead on Arrival

DATELINE: Who’s on First?


Amy Adams is the latest golden girl of movies. She now plays all the roles that would have gone to Nicole Kidman ten years ago. Her latest success is in Arrival, a somewhat science-fishy thriller.

Of course, Arrival arrives with a great deal of promise as an intelligent movie. However, call us skeptical, but the government’s decision to bring in a linguist, not a cryptographer, to decipher the alien language is the first big mistake.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve whose virulent anti-American feelings are often woven into his pictures, he seems to relax on this film. Instead, his target to bash is the media. We haven’t seen a media attack like this since Trump’s last press conference.

Jeremy Renner is around as the physicist foil to Adams, and Forrest Whitaker is around for no good reason we can understand.

The aliens are hecktopods because we don’t know what the heck they are, though Amy Adams does because every little breeze of fluid time seems to sing Louise (her character). The creatures are giant octopus-like, but incomprehensible when they spill out their ink blot responses.

Nicknamed Abbot and Costello, these aliens don’t provide enough laughs.

The big message of this sci-fi potboiler is that time is fluid—and life is a palindrome, spelled anyway you want. We thought they made this movie a few years back as Mom and Dad Save the Universe.

We happily stayed with this film most of the way—but then the hocus-pocus explanations had us re-guessing whether the film was simply moribund or dead on arrival at the climax.

Pseudo-intellectuals may be caught up in the profundity. We were not impressed.


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