There’s a really big crocodile in a lake. There’s a city-dwelling scientist (Bridget Fonda), a folksy cop (Bill Pullman) and an eccentric millionaire (Oliver Platt). And a strange lakeside resident (Betty White). And there’s your plot.
I thought this would be terrible, but it’s awesome. I would wear almost every line from Bridget Fonda on a t-shirt. And Pullman… look, I’ve always had a soft spot for those smiling eyes. But it’s really great, heaps of fun, plus a super-ridiculously big crocodile. What more could you want?
It’s been twenty years since aliens attacked the Earth (Independence Day) and the whole time, Earth has been expecting a return. In the meantime, the planet has maintained peace and utilised the alien technology to be better able to defend themselves. Only this time, the main alien ship that enters the planet’s atmosphere is not just as big as a city; it’s as bit as an ocean. And that creates it’s own gravity, which leads to an awesome destruction scene with special effects galore. So, plotwise, the old guys come out – there’s David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who is still the major science guy, only now everyone trusts him. And his dad, Julius (Judd Hirsch) who is not needed, but is useful and a lot of fun. There’s President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), who is retired and not necessarily all that well (I got a bit confused here) but who can still give one hell of a rousing speech. Then there’s the kid who was the son of Will Smith and the stripper in the first film, and he’s now an important air force man. And probably others…
I loved it. It’s always going to be hard to measure up to the original which I loved so much and have rewatched over and over again. I mean, let’s face it, they are not great films. They are cheesy and over the top, with spectacular special effects that take place of science. And it doesn’t matter that the whole world is at peace, it is still the Americans who are the only ones that really count. And yet – I love it.
Mysterious spaceships appear over many major cities across the USA and, indeed, across the world. No-one is sure if they are friendly or not – no-one, that is, apart from David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who needs to get himself in front of handsome President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman, and for more on the hotness of Bill Pullman, click here) and convince him of this. Meantime, drunk Vietnam veteran and ex-alien abductee Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) continues to embarrass and annoy his family. Until the aliens attack, killing many and destroying whole cities. Few survive, but they include First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) who is left injured amongst smouldering wreckage and stripper Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A Fox) and her small son (and dog. Of course, the dog couldn’t die). Why do we care about the stripper? Because she’s got a hot boyfriend – Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) who is not only hot, but becomes one of the heroes as the world (well, let’s face it, the USA on behalf of the world) tries to find a way to battle these aliens.
I love Independence Day so much. I love that it is a simple story with a million flaws, but there are a whole heap of explosions and a lot of humour. It is far from a perfect film, but I’ll watch it again and again and again. Without a doubt.
Independence Day won an Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Sound.