Arrival promises to be that rare specimen of Hollywood movie, the serious science fiction film. Amy Adams stars as a linguist who has to figure out an alien language before humanity completely loses its mind and does something rash, in the vein of all movies about aliens mysteriously showing up since Klaatu stepped off that flying saucer in The Day the Earth Stood Still. However, there are a few hints that there’s more to this than a story of first contact.
The trailer itself gives us the briefest of glimpses of the aliens, specifically a tentacled hand. Which, admittedly, is usually bad news, but these aliens seem to come in relative peace. That said, giant floating stones tend to weird people out, and Adams and her team, including Jeremy Renner, have to act fast before the military starts tossing nukes.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Ted Chiang short story this movie is based on is, well, our own Mike Ryan said it best when he said this is a movie with aliens in it, but it’s not a movie about aliens. And not in the goopy inspirational sense, either, if you know Chiang’s work at all. If you don’t, let’s just say there is a lot more to this movie that the trailer indicates and leave it at that. We’ll see just how much more November 11th.