On top of everyone's favorite Sci-Fi films are the repeated contenders - 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Blade Runner, The Terminator, and The War of the Worlds. The Arrival is an ironic title, considering the lack of talk back towards this film. Word of mouth is the big media-throttler in terms of most sleeper hits. Charlie Sheen stars as a paranoid conspiracy theorist who has uncovered the best-kept secret about our environment.
Before the term "green" was slapped on films discussing the benefits or controversial theories on nature, The Arrival was waiting steady with a horrifying premise that explores Outer Limits subject favorite of terraforming. Largely making sense, The Arrival settles the fear that the film could en mass by having all the Aliens disguising themselves as (Illegal) Aliens. This species design is remarkable. Reverse knee-caps and rippling brain flaps that shine with promise of Mars Attacks! Martians.
The "thesis" of this film is questionable as a remake of Carpenter's media horror classic They Live. Charlie Sheen as Zane Zaminski plays a really effect character set forth in the mix with an extreme situation. Tony T. Johnson plays KiKi, The Arrival's "Short Round." This annoying black youth talks about nothing but how back in his last school, "erryone wuz strapped."
The special effects were very nifty for their time. Several revealing alien scenes built tension perfectly as well as the Scorpion scene which lead to the demise of Sheen's almost-noir dame. Quite a fitting ending to such a character. I wished the same fate to the "scientific heroine" of Tremors, but it seems the sacrificed the greater character.
David Twohy is a certified Science fiction film director. He brought us The Arrival, and then toned it down a notch with popcorn sizzler Pitch Black and the sequel elongating the myth of Riddick. He knows how to create a moody looming apocalyptic scenario and still entertain with A+ acting and a marvelous script. The Arrival is the best science fiction film you've never heard of, shadowed by the release of Independence Day.