Release Date: 22 February 2017
Format: DVD Blu-ray
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is recruited by a US military colonel (Forest Whitaker) after 12 shell-like spacecraft appear in seemingly random locations across the globe. The alien visitors’ intentions are unknown, and with China and Russia eager to fire the first shot, she faces a race against time to discover whether they are friend or foe.
Working with a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner), Banks realises that the loss of her young daughter could hold the key to deciphering the alien language. Reducing cities and major landmarks to CGI rubble are not on the agenda here; Arrival is a film about big ideas not big effects, although it has those too.
The sci-fi genre is at its best when exploring philosophical themes and the human condition, and this haunting addition is as much about love, loss and the paths we choose in life as it is about making contact with an alien species.
Denis Villeneuve’s films (Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario) all possess a moody ambience, which translates well to science fiction – Blade Runner 2049 is in very capable hands.