Written by / 7/04/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

NARROWING INTO INDEPENDENCE DAY

INDEPENDENCE DAY
Most films of this kind are more entertaining during the set-up – introducing characters while building the plot – than the bombastic, sometimes overlong and one-dimensional resolution but not in the case of INDEPENDENCE DAY where the dialogue tries so hard to provoke perpetual heart-tugging chortles of an opening night audience, it's as if the very motion picture were running for office...

The hackneyed characters range from a flamboyant gay man: a narrow-nuke-minded Secretary of Defense; a humble yet brilliant science engineer; a holed-up hippie scientist; an old wisdom-spouting Jewish man; a crazy redneck conspiracy theorist; a confident pilot; his comic-relief buddy; a dignified First Lady; and the ultra-patriotic President of the United States – all so extremely cliché it's a miracle any of them can escape without ruining the entire experience, no matter how much big-budget CGI occurs as the aliens blow up the White House and various cities within giant space ships that had shadowed every region of the entire planet Earth. But two of the humans on board not only get much better, they save INDEPENDENCE DAY from being one of the most annoying and cringe-worthy theatrical experiences of all time: And what an unlikely pair we have in Will Smith's Captain Steven Hiller and Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson, both taking part in a genuinely suspenseful third act mission to destroy the aliens in a manner reminiscent of H.G. Well's WAR OF THE WORLDS: by going underneath their vulnerabilities while jet fighters take out the mothership like the original STAR WARS dogfight finale.

This immense visual-spectacle is directed by Roland Emmerich paying stylistic homage (intentional or otherwise) to Steven Spielberg, for obvious reasons; Tony Scott's flashy "modern" editing; Jerry Bruckheimer's ultra mainstream appeal; and the nostalgic Disaster scope of Irwin Allen. Using a formidable alien race, a visual hybrid of ALIEN and PREDATOR and with loads of memorable imagery, the film could have gathered and maintained a more faithful and genuine cult following had it remained true to its sci-fi origins and not tried, from the opening song, R.E.M.'s "End of the World" followed by countless one-liners, to nudge our shoulders to the bone. And yet, it's impossible not to realize the sheer perfection in the successful financial attempt to bring a massive audience into one single genre, and is especially entertaining after veering away from forced sentimentality and finally taking care of the business at hand.
One of these tick-shaped alien vessels blows-up Harry Connick's awful character, and that's a great thing SCORE: ***
"Didn't I promise you fireworks?" One of many corny lines in INDEPENDENCE DAY
Jeff Goldblum's strut says, "Who'd think I was EVER considered a loser in previous movies" in this TOP GUN moment
One of the greatest use of headwear in a movie, this is a space junky about to be wiped-out forever
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