Film: The Arrival
Director: David Twohy
Writer: David Twohy
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Crouse and Richard Schiff
This film begins with someone taking pictures in a field; she is played by Lindsay Crouse. As it pulls back, we see that this field is surrounded by snow. The camera pulls back even more and it tells us that this field is in the Arctic.
We then shift to our star, played by Charlie Sheen. He is a radio astrologist and is working with Richard Schiff. Sheen decides they are going to check for radio waves from the space on the FM broadband, but Schiff doesn’t think it will work. Sheen’s girlfriend then calls, she is played by Teri Polo. She wants him to come home, since he is always working. Sheen begins to agree when they pick up a signal. It cuts off before they can completely authenticate it. Sheen is convinced it is from aliens.
They take it to their boss, played by Ron Silver the next day. He doesn’t believe them since it was not authenticated. He gives them a couple things that it could be. He also informs Sheen that they need to cut the funding where he works so he is let go. He does give him a lead on another place to work. When Sheen leaves, Silver crushes the tape.
Sheen begins working in telecommunications, which means he works with satellite television. He is not hired at the new place due to his wild theories, which sounds like he is being blackballed. Polo wants him to work somewhere else, but she also allows him to do what makes him happy. Sheen goes to UCLA where he causes a scene until Silver will meet with him. He wants his tape back and learns that he cannot give it to him. He calls Schiff and learns that two men are taking all the information; these two are played by Leon Rippy and Buddy Joe Hooker. Sheen brings up the back-up system, asking Schiff to keep it secret. He spills about it, but questions the men about their explanation of what the signal was from. They don’t answer him.
That night Sheen gets the idea to create his own transmission station. He sets up the command center above his garage and uses satellites of people in the area. A young boy spies on him, played by Tony T. Johnson. Sheen ends up letting him watch and even help. They end up discovering the same sound, but it is interrupted with a Mexican radio station. He tries to go to Schiff’s house and learns that something has happened to him, we saw that it was Rippy and Hooker.
Sheen then goes to down to Mexico to find this station. He is greeted by a cab driver, played by David Villalpando. Sheen is also suspicious of a man selling fake skeletons who stares at him, played by Ángel de la Peña. Sheen asks Villalpando to take him to the station. When they arrive, it has been burned down in an accident.
Sheen begins looking for a large satellite dish, but cannot seem to find it. Sheen is almost killed in a bath tube accident, but soon learns that it isn’t an accident. He chases Peña, but he gets away. He isn’t human.
During his search he meets with Crouse when they get too close to a new power station, she is investigating why there is so much greenhouse gases being produced here and what is causing it. Sheen is freaked when he sees a guard who looks too much like Silver to be a coincidence.
Will Sheen figure out what is going on before it is too late? Will Sheen and Crouse survive? What are the aliens trying to do? Who is working with them and who isn’t? Is Polo an alien or just concerned about her boyfriend?
I have to say that I came in not expecting much from this film and I actually liked it. It has a good mystery that continues to build to the end. I think the acting is good and the story is pretty solid. The concept though is really the best part of this film. This is a conspiracy film where Sheen is presented as being a little eccentric. It calls in his creditability and at first you don’t know if he is making this up. It always seems to be the unreliable one that discovers aliens, makes you wonder to some of the stories that are told.
My biggest issue is that this film is cheesy on a few levels. Sheen when he gets paranoid he overacts. Polo also seemed to overact pretty much the whole time she was on screen. She is trying to make you wonder about her character, which it does, but it was a bit over the top. I think some of the dialogue was an issue. The aliens I thought looked 90s CGI, which I hated. I also thought the technology that they used also was the same. I will have to say that these issues brought my rating down a bit.
With that said though, I liked this film. This is an alien/conspiracy type horror film that works pretty well. You have some okay acting coupled with a pretty good story and decent writing. The concept is probably the best part for me. It was an enjoyable film and I would recommend giving it a viewing if you get a chance, if it sounds interesting. This also brings a different perspective on global warming as well.
My Rating: 7 out of 10