The world is silenced by Independence Day, a movie that is so incredibly strong that it is one of the most spectacular sci-fi epics ever. Boasting Oscar-winning graphics, ID4 takes us on a thrill ride with some of the biggest destruction scenes ever seen on the big screen.
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman head the cast of several recognizable figures, Smith being a brave fighter pilot, Goldblum an overly ingenius cable repairman, and Pullman an over-the-top, down to earth President of the United States. Everyone in the movie does a pretty good job but all suffer from the bad dialogue at some point or another. It is obvious that the movie is a graphics powerhouse because its script basically sucks. There is almost too much comedy at times and too many cheesy lines to count. One of the worst lines comes near the end where the General shouts, "Let's take those alien bastards down." Anyway, who cares about dialogue? The action is what counts, right?
Of course. And the action kicks major. From the first few seconds of the movie we are greeted with a suspenseful shot of the aliens passing over the moon. Then it kicks to Earth where everyone begins to realize what is happening. And then the ships appear. And then they attack. Independence Day shows at least three cities being destroyed simultaneously, a gigantic fireball tearing the buildings to shreds like paper. This scene goes on for what seems like forever, thankfully, as we really get to see how this movie beat out 1996's other graphic blockbuster, Twister. Following the destruction, us humans fight back, unsuccessfully, but are presented to another brilliant action scene, this time with dogfights.
And then after that, the movie dies down for a little bit. Smith treks across the desert, the President and everyone go to Area 51, and Smith's girlfriend (Vivica A. Fox) starts picking up survivors. This is where the movie runs into what I feel is the biggest mistake of the film, a mistake that ends up adding at least ten minutes to this already long movie. The First Lady survives. Sure, this is to build up emotions between her and her husband, the President, but it is just a waste of time. She dies anyway, and the only thing we get out of it is a sappy goodbye scene. And second, there is a one in a million chance that this lady could survive a gigantic, flaming shockwave while flying in a helicopter.
Anyway, the action picks up again towards the end as they begin to figure out how to hit the alien spacecrafts. The only thing that would have been nice is to have seen a few more cities being destroyed during this time (like Seattle, my home town) and maybe Dallas get nuked. Oh well.
Independence Day is a graphical monster with tons of action and destruction. Anyone can enjoy this movie whether they realize how bad the script is or not.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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