Well its not an Oscar winner or even a contender for its acting or script (but it is a winner for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Sound Mixing) and you definitely should not expect Shakespearean dialogue between any of the characters. I’d also tell you not to expect the science to make sense and while the good guys win (as expected) – the way that they succeed perhaps leaves a bit to be desired.
What Independence Day does offer however is a good, fun PG-13 movie with aliens, space battles, aerial combat and some of the best (at the time) special effects you could see – the destruction of the White House is an iconic scene from the 1990’s that no one can forget. It’s a great, fun movie with just the right amount of pathos and humor.
In a nutshell, Independence Day tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth. In this case, the focus is very much on the Air Force versus any other unit of the US military (in contrast to Battle: Los Angeles where the focus was on the Army or Battleship where we obviously focus on the Navy) and our key characters are the nutty professor (Jeff Goldblum), his (ex) wife (who just happens to be the White House press secretary), the president (Bill Pullman) [bit of topic here, but were you humming that to the Gilligan’s island theme tune?], Will Smith as the kick ass, ace fighter pilot & of course for comedy we have Randy Quaid playing a drunk crop duster who has been experimented on … by aliens! Of course we can’t forgot Brent Spinner (or as we all knew him at the time – Commander Data) the mad scientist in Area 51.
I won’t go into a blow-by-blow account of everything that happens in this film – considering it first came out in 1996 and has been on TV innumerable times, you’ve either already seen it or if not you need to see it and I do not want to ruin that experience for you. Suffice it to say that when the aliens come knocking, all of the conspiracy theorists were right about Area 51 and while the idea of a virus killing the invaders as first proposed by H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds might have been somewhat bastardized here – it still kind of works (don’t get me started on the whole discussion about how they transmit the virus and all the other inconsistencies … I know, its just one of many “science” facts that don’t work) from a Hollywood point of view.
A sequel to Independence Day is scheduled to be released on June 24, 2016
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