Charlie Sheen in The Arrival (1996)

Close Encounters of the Charlie Sheen Kind

Zane Zaminsky (Charlie Sheen) is a radio astronomer, listening in for any sign of an extraterrestrial radio signal and he is passionate about it as he constantly stands up his hot girlfriend Char (Teri Polo). When he is convinced he has recorded an extraterrestrial radio signal he goes to his superior Phil Gordian (Ron Silver) with it only to find himself being fired and all his records along with the evidence being confiscated. Having had to take a job as a telecoms engineer, Zane hotwires customers satellite dishes so he can set up his own research facility in his attic which after getting a repeat of the signal he recorded a few days earlier leads him down to Mexico and the discovery of something very shocking as he meets up with scientist Ilana Green (Lindsay Crouse) who is there investigating the increasing temperatures in Third Word Countries.

The first thing which will strike you when you sit down to watch "The Arrival" is seeing Charlie Sheen as a scientist, it is something which is comically hard to accept when watching this now almost 20 years after it was made. What is also quite strange is seeing Charlie Sheen looking a little larger than he does now with a short haircut, a goatee and glasses. It is amazing how much Charlie Sheen has changed in the past 20 years yet ironically his performance is still the same with that aspect of sarcasm which is his trademark and it is as much what Sheen naturally brings to the movie as the storyline which makes it entertaining.

Teri Polo in The Arrival (1996)

Well I say that as a fan of Charlie Sheen and it was his name more than anything which attracted me to watch "The Arrival". I would imagine that the presence of Charlie Sheen might actually be a negative for those who were attracted to watch because they read that "The Arrival" is a conspiracy movie involving aliens in Mexico as he adds more than a touch of comedy to proceedings. Even so the entertaining conspiracy movie has some nice aspects; some enjoyable b-movie twists as well as some decent action and special effects which actually take you by surprise at how effective some of them are which even makes you wonder whether some of the effects influenced "Men in Black".

But this does make "The Arrival" a mixed movie as on one had we have this entertaining conspiracy movie involving alien activity in Mexico which may have extended in to positions of power. Yet you have a comical b-movie side which even with out Charlie Sheen would be comical and it makes this a movie not entirely sure who it is trying to entertain and by trying to be something for everyone ends up a little bit messy.

What this all boils down to is that "The Arrival" is undeniably entertaining as it has a bit of everything and a lot of Charlie Sheen. But by having a bit of everything it seems like it is trying to be something for everyone but not everything for some one.