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 ... Written by
Gustaf Molin <email@example.com>
As a rule, I don't like high-concept movies. However, Independence Day is one of the few with some merits. It is also the best film to-date by German sci-fi/action director Roland Emmerich. The greatest flaw of Indepence Day (aka ID4 due to initial copyright problems with the Independence Day title) is the excessive jingoism. Completely America centric, it seems that the rest of human civilization is helpless without the Yanks. The American President is not just the only world leader fighting for a free world, he even moonlights as a fighter pilot attacking the aliens.
However, its still a damn entertaining film. There is a large ensemble cast of good actors, some in career best roles. Will Smith was really launched as a movie star by this film and he has some very funny lines. Jeff Goldblum actually looks nerdy-cool as a scientist who likes to play chess in the park. And Bill Pullman is the clean-cut American President who proclaims that July 4 will no longer be an American holiday, but a world holiday! The rest of the ensemble cast includes small but meaty roles for Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid and Vivica Fox. Harry Connick Jr. has a small part but blows it completely.
The things that make ID4 watching is that something is always going on. There are plenty of one-liners and the one-dimensional character all have their peculiar personality traits and quirks. The action scenes are impressive and in fact this film has the largest number of miniatures ever built. That record will probably never be broken because digital technology is limiting the use of miniatures. If you can let your hair loose and just want to enjoy a light movie without letting the America is Great propaganda get to you, ID4 is for you.
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