"The Arrival" was underrated when it was first released, and, as with all good, underrated movies, it has since become a cult favorite. Clever and imaginative, a lot was done on a limited budget to make it into a top notch sci-fi thriller. It has an intelligent and well reasoned story, and the special effects are imaginative.
Charlie Sheen, clean and sober, plays radio astronomer, Zane Zaminski, who picks up radio signals that are not earthly. When he takes a copy of the tape of these signals, which he believes to be indicative of intelligent, alien life, to his boss, chillingly played by Ron Silver, he is summarily fired from his job. Suddenly, all is not right with the world.
Smelling something real fishy, Zane sets up a home satellite and tries to zero in on the signal. He gets lucky, or unlucky, depending upon how one looks at it, and he picks up the same signal he previously had picked up. It crosses a signal given off by a Mexican radio station, which motivates him to go to Mexico and check it out.
While in Mexico, he meets a fellow scientist (Lindsay Crouse), who is there on her own investigation, as she has noted major atmospheric changes, which indicate that global warming is occurring at an alarming rate, almost as if there were a greenhouse effect. Unbeknownst to Zane at the time, her concerns are connected to his.
While at a power plant with her, he comes across a doppelganger for his former boss, which sets off alarms in his head. Returning undercover at night, he discovers that the entire plant is operated by aliens, and they are not here just to say hello. There, a series of events transpire to reveal to him an immense, alien plot. Yes, it's the old alien conspiracy story rearing its ugly head. Only this time, it is handled with surprising intelligence.