Ok so first a little background. The disaster movie has its own genre. Some movies are good, 2012 and Deep Impact, some are…not, Godzilla and The Day After Tommorow. There have been many directors who have used this genre shamelessly, reling on special effects and the destruction of landmarks rather than intersting character development and good storylines to make vast profits. One of these directors is Roland Emmerich. He is incredibly successful and has produced som of the most famous, and possibly worst disaster movies ever. One of these movies is Independance Day.
The film has a variety of characters most of whom are stereotypes. The main characters however include Will Smith(Fresh Prince of Bel Air) who plays a fighter jet pilot, his girlfreind played by Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill), a nerdy MIT Programmer, played by Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, the Fly), The President played by Bill Pullman (Twister) and the Goldblum characters Ex-wife played by Margaret Colin (Three Men and a Baby).
The premise is simple enough. Aliens attack Earth, positioning themselves above cities across the world and a countdown begins. When the countdown ends the attack begins, or as Goldblum puts it checkmate. The race is then on to find a way to destroy the alien fleet and save the Earth.
Where do I begin. There are far too many characters which leaves little time to develop any of them and therefore little time for the audience to get to like them and worry about their safety. The film also follows the usual Emmerich pattern. There is always a nerdy white guy who has an Ex-wife/girlfriend who left them because of commintment issues. In this case its the Goldblum and Collins Characters. This is true for Godzilla, 2012 and The Day After Tommorow.
The film does have one good point. In the trailer they show us the White House being destroyed and my God they delivered with regards to pointless destruction. This is the best part of any Emmerich film and one of the only resonably commendable things about this film. Granted some of the actors are fantastic and its an age old premise that will always bring in audiences, but does this make it a good movie? Well I’ll admit I enjoy it. Its a hell of alot of fun as Emmerich disaster films usually are. I won’t go into the other four movies of this genre Emmerich has directed but Independance Day is probably my second favorite. Maybe its because this is genuinely enjoyable or because the others are just awful. To be honest its both.
A stupid albeit enjoyable movie: