Independence Day Movie Review

Independence Day marks the glorious realization of what, for me, has been a nearly 25 year wait. Countless prayers have gone unanswered, but on this day, I have finally witnessed on screen what I have only dreamt of all my life, for this film features the complete and total destruction of the city of Houston through the use of nuclear weapons, by the U.S. government's own hand!

But watching my home town be blown away is only one of the charms of ID4 (the film's hip moniker). First there's the War of the Worlds meets Star Wars meets The Right Stuff story, about a superior, marauding alien force threatening to annihilate the human race (and almost succeeding). And an all-star cast of freedom fighters (more on them later). Director Roland Emmerich, who redeems himself for the idiocy of Stargate, and who isn't afraid to kill off the good guys. Some dazzling visuals. Loud sound effects. Plus every Star Trek and X-Files fan in town in the audience. What more do you want?

Character-wise, we are peppered with a litany of names and faces, all of whom are surprisingly easy to keep straight, thanks to Emmerich's jumping around in the setting. Will Smith does his Bad Boys "2001" character. Bill Pullman recalls Michael Douglas's American President. Jeff Goldblum: see Jurassic Park. Randy Quaid, Harvey Fierstein, Robert Loggia... we pretty much know what to expect from these folks. And while they may seem a bit hackneyed at times, especially with their cliché-ridden dialogue, there's enough life left over to make everyone interesting. (But why does everyone seem to have a romance sub-plot going on?)

And yes, maybe the plot/theme about how a few Americans banding together can stop a vastly superior invading force, end racial discord, and ensure world peace and harmony is a bit much, but so what? If you can suspend disbelief enough to accept that an alien ship 1/4 the size of the moon is attacking earth, you can accept the Give Peace a Chance bit. Think: the director is a German!

Okay... some of the effects are a bit cheesy, too, which doesn't mix well with the really good ones. (The residue of people laughing at (not with) the final scene on July 2 really hurts the power of the opening scene on July 3 -- New York City in ruins, the Statue of Liberty laying half-submerged on its side.) Just let these crummy effects go. Understand that much better ones are on the way.

Nitpicking? Who, me? Yes, but this time I had a lot of fun on the ride. The whole film is tasty, even the unintentional cheese. Be warned, the movie is 2 hours & 20 minutes long, so pack a picnic basket. But I promise it'll be an excellent trip.

And remember: in space, no one can hear a frying Houstonian scream.

No sketches were available of the destruction of Houston. I had to settle for New York.


Comments

Independence Day Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: R, 1996

Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations