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I was a little bit late getting to the theater to see The Arrival. The movie was slated to start ten minutes past the hour and I didn't arrive there until five after. Then I had to go through the concession stand crowd. When I finally reached the theater -- the large screen was engrossed by a huge satellite disk and there was some guy talking. "Damn," I thought. "I just missed the start of the movie." It wasn't three seconds after that realization that I had another one. "This isn't the movie. It's a commercial." A commercial which it turned out for one of the large multi-billion dollar phone companies. Talk about false scares.
Some people have called 'The Arrival' a thinking man's science fiction movie. While the jury is still out on that, I will say it's not stupid either. It is however one more of those 'one man saves the world' flicks. Which are never terribly realistic, but on their own terms, entertain. Charlie Sheen plays Zane Zaminski. A smart, but soon-to-be paranoid astrophysicist who has the slithery Godian (Ron Silver) for a boss. One day watching the satellites some anomaly passes his screen. Suddenly the search is on. What was it? WHO was it? Not letting the subject go gets him fired from his job and deeper and deeper he journeys into the paranoia.
The Arrival is one part use your mind, two parts conspiracy theory. As Zane takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of things and find out who's involved and to what lengths they'll go to suppress everything. Soon we start to see elements straight out of the X Files. Aliens... conspiracy... colonization. The story has it's own set of implausibilities, but things move at such a pace that there isn't much time to question them. Zane knows something is going on and the deeper he digs the more we find out. It's all about the ride. Could one man really stop such things from happening? Probably not, but that doesn't stop 'The Arrival' from being a fun time.
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