Roland Emmerich directs this sci-fi action adventure movie, Independence Day, about hostile alien invaders who plan to destroy the earth with their vastly superior technology, humanity fights back and strives to be victorious against clearly uneven odds. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Vivica A Fox, Adam Baldwin.
Independence, America, patriotism, freedom, all words you can link to the film Independence Day, a very on the nose patriotic film which embraces the silly action blockbuster template and runs with it, a memorable, fun but shallow action adventure film which pits humanity against warmongering aliens. The film has some interesting characters with Will Smith as Steven Hiller in one of his funniest roles and the force of nature that was Jeff Goldblum in the 90s as David Levinson, while Bill Pullman remains one of the best fictional presidents as president Thomas J Whitmore, charismatic and inspirational.
The plot is very straightforward and doesn’t bring anything new to action or sci-fi but tells the classic conflict of the big, advanced enemy against the technologically inferior resistance, the action scenes in the film are huge in scale and scope and the effects were brilliant for its time and even now look decent, there’s a lot of spectacle present in the destruction by the hands of the aliens, while humans around the world fight back. And while there’s a lot of action and destruction, there are a few breaks in the momentum at points giving some respite to the action, there are some emotional points in the film as well with everyone fighting for survival but specifically with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblums characters daughters.
And even with this being a dumb action film, the more emotional moments do for the most part hit home as you invest in the characters, though not all the characters are fleshed out and the aliens themselves are just a faceless mass of evil. Also the alien fighter craft however (not talking about the giant disc warships) did have some interesting looking designs while the aliens themselves looked well, alien, not necessarily very creatively made though. The heart of Independence Day is a patriotic war movie though, that presents the bravery and will to fight that humanity has, which can overcome any obstacle, even clear alien superiority in this case oh and viruses. The way the aliens are ultimately defeated is infamous as far as endings go and it was a nice summary of how poorly thought out aspects of the film are.
But in saying that, the film is big silly fun and a film I would probably sit through and watch if it was on TV, it does’t bring anything new to the table but it summarises big dumb alien invasion movies and patriotism as seen by Hollywood in the most Michael Bay feeling film not by Michael Bay.
. Fun set of characters
. Full of cheesy dialogue and moments
. By the numbers plot