The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.
With an estimated budget of 75 million, Independence Day stifled Spielberg's intentions to remake the classic 1953 War of the Worlds to present an alien invasion on an absurd scale. Since the first teaser trailers, with the shadows consuming tourist spots accompanied by the expression of astonishment from passers-by, the feature film has already come with the proposal to shape America's basic formula of self-destruction: if terrorists could not find access - until then - , a flurry of blockbusters began that featured the United States being threatened by natural phenomena and alien forces. As a masochistic pleasure intensified by the approach of the end of the millennium, the result could not be other than a lot of destruction, with sensational effects from impressive models, and the exaggerated patriotism, capable of putting the American president himself on a fighter to face the enemies. Interplanetary.
Don't ask how, but even though the United States government communicates with other nations through Morse code, television continues to quietly broadcast the news with naughty information to the viewer - commonly, us - and that's even after the attacks. It doesn't help the spectator to wonder how David managed, in less than six hours, to pick up his father, get out of downtown New York faster than the whole crowd, and still arrive in Washington, about 330 kilometers from distance; And why bother with the fact that aliens, coming from beyond the solar system, count time in the same measurements as we do? After all, who cares? Forget it, after all, we are back in 1996, a time when the characters use gigantic cell phones, while the aliens have a touchscreen.
Regarding the script of the film, it is fair to say that it is the factor most detonated by the specialized critic. The focus of the production really is to bring elaborate scenes of destruction, leaving the likelihood in the background. There is a lot of patriotism to the United States, to its July 4th holiday (which becomes a world holiday) and to the American army. The script also does not seek to deepen the personal dramas of the characters and some situations are quite fanciful. But the truth is that this was never the intention. Director Roland Emmerich sucks at character development - it would be prudent to say that he may not know what that actually means - but, on the other hand, he is efficient in his action sequences. And since they tend to put the protagonists and large crowds of people in danger, it is easy to gain public empathy, since we on this side of the screen prefer to think that, instead of those figures, we would also survive - right? Big explosion and collapse of a tunnel? No problem, you would go through this to drive a truck and save the First Lady of the United States. Drag the body of an extraterrestrial across the desert, even without supplies? Of course, if you, like Will Smith, can punch one of the damn aliens right in the face. Escape from a colossal explosion at the last second by just a few feet with Air Force One? Only if we can get rid of an even bigger explosion, in space and on board an alien spaceship. Emmerich may not take the human side of his characters very much into consideration, but he is great at instigating the superhuman in them, which hits our ego right in the middle - after all, if they succeed, why not me?
If, on the one hand, the narrative is poor, Independence Day stands out in the technical part. David Arnold's great soundtrack, simply contagious, manages to electrify in the intense scenes and manages to thrill in those more dramatic scenes, as in a moment when an important character dies. The composer manages to bring a track with melodies that help and a lot to give the mood of the film. The editing of sound effects and sound mixing mixes well the noise of explosions, the shouting of people, the shooting of ships and falling buildings. It is no coincidence that he competed for the Oscar for Best Sound.
The general shots taken by Karl Walter Lindenlaub, which Emmerich brought from Stargate, work very well to convey the magnitude of the attacks. David Brenner's montage (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, The Man of Steel) also deserves commendation for not succumbing to the spectator's bewilderment. Using Lindenlaub's broader photograph very well, he connects the sequences in a way that makes the beating - even in the complicated final aerial attack - logical without losing its energy. And what about the visual effects, which won the Oscars? Today they may seem a little dated, but nothing that gets in the way. And when reviewing the film today, it is actually impressive that many scenes remain current. The grandeur of the ships, the destruction of buildings and the White House, the final air battles, everything remains exciting.
The film is shallow and somewhat empty of content - the theme "union of nations" is beautiful, but if we squeeze it, nothing comes out - but it is undeniable that the director and his script partner Dean Devlin manage to create captivating characters, who they carry the film on their backs. Will Smith in his first big hit, in his burst stage. The star has always lavished charisma, mainly for his comical crazy things and in the action scenes. The best jokes and jokes come out of Smith's mouth. The star Jeff Goldblum (from 'The Fly" and 'Jurassic Park') always with presence and a restrained performance. Bill Pullman plays with respect a well-intentioned and convincing president. Veterans Randy Quaid and Judd Hirsch are surprisingly funny. The synchrony of all of them is something that helps us to care about the characters and cheer in the end.
Independence Day is a beautiful example of the catastrophe film, almost a return to the seventies past, which seems to have been the decade that "created" the genre. This work by Emmerich will remain in the viewer's memory even if it is due to its exaggeration and absurd technological freedoms. A true guilty pleasure, of those who leave a pleasant smile on the face after the projection. It's another great guilty pleasure - that movie, which is essentially pretty bad, but you have fun watching it - directed by the filmmaker specializing in catastrophe films. After all, action and tension is what Emmerich wants to deliver. It is not about his "sophisticated and complex" plot that he wants to base his feature film on, as his artistic expression resides in entertainment. Who cares about ufanism - I would say implicitly, if the foreground was not an American flag - and cheesy melodramas when Bill Pullman is giving such an "inspirational" speech? Anyway, they say that there is that kind of film to "turn off the brain". I say that for this we have those we can call "bad". Independence Day is not to turn anything off, but rather just one of those event films that requires less from the intellect of others - which is different, and by no means a demerit. After all, features like these by Emmerich, however disposable they may be, will always find shelter.
- Apr 10, 2021