Take a healthy dollop of spy movie and then coat it in science fiction and what do you have?

Well, The Arrival of Wang as a matter of fact – an intriguing, thought-provoking and downright clever piece of work from the Manetti Brothers.

Having made a splash at this year’s Frightfest with their follow-up flick, Paura 3D, the sensible decision has been made to release this earlier offering on DVD.

And, truth be told, Wang is about as far removed from Paura as possible – and is all the better for it.

The film kicks into gear right from the off as we are introduced to Gaia (Francesca Cuttica), who works as an interpreter, subtitling Chinese films for the Italian market.

All that changes though when she gets a mysterious phone call offering her a highly-paid interpreting job and minutes later she is being blindfolded and whisked off to meet the aforementioned Wang.

As it is revealed fairly early on in the movie (and on the DVD sleeve no less), it is no real spoiler to reveal that Wang is actually an alien visitor, held captive by the Italian authorities.

Wang has decided to speak Chinese, explaining it is the most used language on Earth – and that is where Gaia comes into play.

The rest of the movie plays out as a cat-and-mouse affair, with Gaia prompted by the aggressive Inspector Curti (Ennio Fantastichini).

Wang insists he is simply on a benevolent mission to introduce his species to the people of Earth – but is he telling the truth?

That is pretty much it as far as plot goes, as Wang succeeds due to being an intelligent, canny guessing game rather than endless slam-bang scenes of carnage.

In fact, with the majority of the action taking place in a single interrogation room, The Arrival of Wang often resembles more a stage play than a feature film.

But that is not a bad thing – especially when you get strong performances from both Cuttica and Fantastichini.

And as for Wang itself, well it is a solid piece of effects work and certainly not one that will distract you from the plot.

The Manetti Brothers keep things ticking over very nicely and there is a very neat pay-off that draws things to a memorable conclusion.

The Arrival of Wang will certainly not be to everyone’s liking and those expecting any kind of sci-fi action flick should steer well clear.

But if it is something a bit different you are looking for, something that will give the grey matter as much a workout as the eyes, then Wang is a solid bet.

 

Extras: An interview with the Manetti Bros and Francesca Cuttica, behind the scenes footage and two bizarre videos featuring Wang

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.