Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Film Review--"The Arrival"

starring Charlie Sheen, Teri Polo, Ron Silver, Richard Schiff, and Bree Olson as The Beav.

An astronomer (Sheen...I'll let that sink in for a bit) discovers what he believes to be a signal from an alien civilization and entreats his superiors to listen to it.  His reward for this is to be fired and his NASA program shut down.  This begins an epic quest, one that reveals that aliens are already among us...and they do not have our best interests in mind.

Before he was "winning," Charlie Sheen did good movies.  More good ones than you may realize.  Wall Street is one of my all-time favorites, Platoon is amazing but I can only take small doses, Major League is hilarious, and who doesn't have a soft spot for Red Dawn and a sneaking admiration for Navy SEALS?  (contented sigh)
While I fully expected this film to join the ranks of the latter examples of cheese, it really belongs in the column of quality.   If you can get past the notion of Chuck Sheen as an astronomer, you can see the unique take the film has on the old "clandestine invasion" meme.  I would also call this movie a thriller in addition to science fiction, but not the kind that involves gunfights and car chases.  No, this is more of Hitchcock's style of thriller.  The ending, however, is unfortunately a trifle weak and I reckon that to be more from a producer's influence.  They were afraid to commit to a conclusion that would be unsatisfactory to the protagonist, so they took it in a Hollywood direction.  As a result, it doesn't quite work.
Yet that's relatively the only major flaw.  This is an entertaining, suspenseful, and at times, really rather cerebral film.  I'd call that "winning."

Plus, you get to see a pre-West Wing Toby Ziegler in Richard Schiff. 

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1 comment:

  1. Spike said: "I've heard good things as well. Wall Street is also a favorite of mine."

    Smitty said: "LOVE this movie! If I run across it while channel surfing, I must finish watching it ;-)"