Sunday, November 12, 2017

Now and Then Blogathon (Then): Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day (1996) a.k.a ID4
Twentieth Century Fox, Centropolis Entertainment, USA, 1996.
Participating the Now and Then 2017 Blogathon event, arranged by Realweegiemidget Reviews and Thoughts of All Sorts! This is part 1 (Then!) of 2 part post.

Independence Day of the United States is approaching and so is a gigantic spaceship. The President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) suffers from waning popularity. Although he was a popular war hero, media says that his achievements as the leader of the country have been disappointing. His day becomes worse when a gigantic UFO emitting a strange signal sends smaller smaller spaceships above major cities. SETI scientists open Champagne bottles but cable-TV technician (and former university guy) David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) cracks the code and notices that the signal send by the spaceship is a countdown to destruction.
This is not a weather balloon!
Bill Pullman
Thomas J. Whitmore
Jeff Goldblum
David Levinson
The humans try peaceful greeting but the extraterrestrials answer by blowing whole cities up. After a worldwide destruction, the survivors try to save their families who have been lost in the chaos. Army attempts a strike back (nuke 'em!), but that only makes aliens laugh. However some promising technology is hidden in Area 51. Eccentric scientist Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner, Data from Star Trek TNG) shows the secret alien artifacts retrieved after the Roswell Incident.
Brent Spiner
Dr. Okun
Alien warrior
After David and his daddy Julius (Judd Hirsch) invent a way to destroy the mother ship, the different nations join the counter attack. And should they win, the Fourth of July will no longer be only an American holiday, but the Independence Day of the whole Earth! ID4 is a shamelessly patriotic movie with good old flag waving.
Judd Hirsch
Saving the world are drunk pilot Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) and his family, hotshot pilot Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and his girlfriend Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox). There is also important motivator for David, his ex-wife and President's Communication's Director Constance Spano (Margaret Colin). David and Constance separated because David was unambitious with his career and more interested in protecting the environment. Well, now he has a chance to save the world. Helping the heroes is also Major Mitchell (Adam Baldwin). Interestingly, Adam played also part in latter X-Files episodes as an alien-human hybrid supersoldier.
Vivica A. Fox and Will Smith
Jasmine and Steven
Randy Quaid
Adam Baldwin and Margaret Colin
Major Mitchell and Constance Spano
The movie come out when the space aliens were hot and I had spent considerable time watching "The X-Files" and playing "UFO: Enemy Unknown", so the movie left a big impression. It was a perfect movie for the 1990s UFO boom. The combination of disaster film and B-film style alien attack film made with a big budget made it a summer box office hit film, with thrills, drama and witty one-liners.

The all-star cast had a bunch of new faces and already established actors. Will Smith was still in the early phase of his film career, at the time that he made his iconic roles (in "Bad Boys", "Men In Black" and "Enemy of the State") and here he does great action-comedy. Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman take care of the dramatic arc while Judd Hirsch and Randy Quaid have more comical characters. For Vivica A Fox this movie was very important for her career. James Duval plays here Russell's son, he is rarely seen in big budget films and has apperared more in indie films.

Rating: Very good

Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quaid, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein, Adam Baldwin, Brent Spiner, James Duval, Lisa Jakub, Giuseppe Andrews, Ross Bagley, Bill Smitrovich, Mae Whitman, Harry Connick Jr., Kiersten Warren, John Storey, Frank Novak, Devon Gummersall, Leland Orser, Mirron E. Willis, Ross Lacy, David Pressman, Vivian Palermo, Raphael Sbarge, Bobby Hosea, Dan Lauri, Steve Giannelli, Eric Paskel, Carlos Lacamara, John Bennett Perry, Troy Willis, Tim Kelleher, Wayne Wilderson, Jay Acovone, James Wong, Thom Barry, Jana Marie Hupp, Matt Pashkow, Robert Pine...
Director: Roland Emmerich


  1. OMG after all these years and times of re-watching the movie, I didn't notice until now that it's Brent Spinner in role of that mad scientist :D It was always so visible and still... I feel so blind and dumb :D But anyways, great scifi-action-comedy movie! :)

    1. That character sure is something different character compared to TNG's ultra-cool android!

  2. Fabulous review and thanks for joining the blogathon. Really is shamelessly patriotic as you say. that was my main gripe on it too. Havent dared see the sequel yet!

    1. Thanks fod co-hosting the interesting blogathon! The sequel is a watchable rollercoaster ride but that's about it.

  3. Still to watch it - we have got it but I've heard its not worth the time, about to check out your review so I might just watch it one day


Thank you for your interest! (All comments are moderated before publishing so please be patient!)

Recommendations by Engageya