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(Review originally written at 21 February 2007)

This movie pretty much embodies the reason why I love watching science-fiction movies. It's original, well written, mysterious, has plot twists and remains tense and unpredictable right till the end.

The power of the movie is that it's very well written. The movie starts of as a mysterious thriller, with science-fiction tendencies but half way through the movie, the movie turns into a full-blood science-fiction movie, completely with aliens and a plot to take over the world. The two halves blend in very well with each other with as a result a both mysterious as tense science-fiction movie, which plot twists make sure that the movie will leave you guessing right till the end and with also some well placed comedy in it. It also makes sure that the movie doesn't ever takes itself too serious, with as a result that the viewer can also more enjoy watching it.

It's a very well written and directed movie, which makes this movie a well constructed and solid one. Especially the science-fiction should be able to appreciate the movie and its story. David Twohy shows that he knows how to handle the genre. Twohy is perhaps better known for his writing work, rather than his directed movies. It all the more adds to the fact that "The Arrival" is an underrated and not known well enough movie.

If you could blame "The Arrival" for anything it would be that it was made a couple of years too early. The techniques and visual effects (though they certainly look great and acceptable) are already outdated a bit. OR you could of course also say that "The Arrival" was a movie that was ahead of its time. The intentions were all they already but the right powerful techniques to create weren't all available yet.

Charlie Sheen does a good job at playing a sort of paranoid but always likable character. Ron Silver plays a great villainous like character and the movie also features Teri Polo in an early movie role.

The movie has some good production values, with nice looking sets and good early computer graphics, even though it becomes obvious when watching this movie that it didn't had the highest budget available. Still it was amazing to find out that the movie cost only $5,000,000 to make. The movie certainly looks better and more expensive than that number would suggest. All the more reasons why they should let David Twohy direct more movies, with a budget like this one.

It isn't always easy to always take the movie very serious and the movie has itself to blame for that, by putting in a bit too many coincidences and improbabilities. Further more, the movie should had perhaps the movie should had ended earlier. In other words "The Arrival" is not the best genre movie around but it nevertheless is certainly an underrated and under-appreciated one, that deserves to be seen, especially by the fans of science-fiction.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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