Dead on Arrival

My Kingdom for an Editor

It’s fitting, I think, that the main action of Arrival takes place on a barren Montana plain, because while pleasant looking in it’s own nondescript way, the film itself is flat, empty, and mostly devoid of complex life. To begin with the highlights, Adams and Renner give frankly admirable turns in the roles they are given, and to go a step further Adams may well have salvaged what could have otherwise been a dull and forgettable part, one of a legion of ‘approachably smart’ tragic geniuses that movies and TV can’t seem to get enough of. Whitaker and Stuhlbarg, unfortunately, are not afforded enough screen-time or overall thought to distinguish them from their narrative roles, and are given no chance to shine through the thick soggy blankets they’ve been written under.

Arrival is a film that asks many questions and then proceeds to forget about most of them, to instead…

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