On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their …
Gustaf Molin <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Independence Day doesn’t stand up particularly well to a second viewing. It is basically a millenial version of The War of the Worlds with grand-scale effects and a cast which probably cost almost as much as the effects. Will Smith, Randy Quaid, Jeff Goldblum, Adam Baldwin and Judd Hirsch help pick up a surprisingly talented (but underexploited) cast and seem to have enjoyed their parts. Unfortunately, the mediocre script allowed few of the other actors to make their roles shine.
The plot is so simple it’s hard to imagine a 140+ minute film about it. The earth is under invasion from a highly advanced and merciless alien culture hell bent on intergalactic conquest. Our most powerful weapons can not pierce their shields and their weapons are capable of incinerating cities the size of Washington DC with one shot. After the first wave of attacks, all seems lost, and humans must find some way to fight back.
Roland Emmerich’s direction is good. There are few dull moments and very little in the way of uninteresting and pointless scenes. Unfortunately, the characters are generally two-dimensional – even Bill Pullman’s brooding, depressed President of the United States comes across as an uncomplicated, uninspired and unemotional individual. Limited character development and an uncomplicated plot result in a one-shot movie.
The best performances in Independence Day are the semi-comedic ones (note the actors mentioned above. This should tell you most of what you need to know about the film. Enjoy it by not taking it seriously, but spare yourself a second viewing unless intoxicated. And, oh yea, don’t see it if you have a problem with American nationalism – the film is full of it.