- Gareth Crook
Independence Day (1996)
Independence Day, a big fat “Yeehaw America” kinda film... but as stupid as it is, it’s bloody good fun. Sure there’s nothing complicated about it, it’s cut to the chase stuff, spaceships appear within 2 minutes, def cons are mentioned shortly after. Cue lots of booming sound effects to match the flash cuts as we whip around the globe setting up the alien invasion, whilst maintaining the focus on the US Military. Mr President Bill Pullman doing his breathy, I’m really important act, I’m surprised the TV doesn’t explode with testosterone. In fact women are pretty much left out of the story altogether. I wouldn’t be surprised if a portion of the US population watched this and thought “Hell yeah, we’d show those aliens!”, truth is though that’s not the way to enjoy this film. It’s a tongue firmly in cheek sort of ride. “The LA Police Department asks people not to fire their weapons at the spaceship, you may inadvertently trigger an interstellar war”. I mean it’s got Will Smith in it, not to mention Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum. It’s a sci-fi, disaster movie farce with a massive budget. A budget largely spent on explosions. Landmarks blown up, relentless fireballs, flying cars, all in slow motion of course and the audio balance is bloody ridiculous, speaker killing pyrotechnics coupled with rousing score, followed by cheesy exposition heavy dialogue at half the volume. Ah... the dialogue, seriously who wrote this script, that speech, it’s so cringe inducing it made my face hurt, as the characters bumble through a solution to their impending doom. I guess if hostile aliens do ever attack us, sticking the gun toting nutjob country in the line of fire isn’t a bad idea, as long as we can handle the endless fist pumping gloating that might follow. It’s not aged badly though, it is what it is, daft over the top fun, but I guess I’m a bit more cynical these days and I seriously doubt anyone would green light anything like this now... although they did make Independence Day: Resurgence a few years ago, now THAT was a disaster!