Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their ...Written by
Gustaf Molin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film employs over 3,000 visual effects shots. At the time, the highest number ever featured in a film. See more »
At the SETI institute, there is a black guy on the phone in many shots, yet in one particular shot he is on the phone, but two seconds later he has jumped into a seat next to the woman and is typing. That's some pretty fast moving. See more »
If this isn't an insanely beautiful woman, I'm hangin' up.
Sir, I - I- I think you should listen to this.
See more »
"Animal action was monitored by the American Humane Association. No animals or aliens were harmed in the making of this film." See more »
On July 1, 1998 a Special Edition was released on LaserDisc. This edition contains ca. 8 minutes of extended/additional footage:
The first dialogue between President Whitmore and Constance Spano was extended.
A few sentences were added in the scene as Whitmore proposes to go to DefCon 3.
The first added scene is a dialogue between David Levinson and a colleague at the TV station. He explains that an unknown signal is responsible for the bad TV broadcasting and that he may be able to block this signal.
In the next extended scene Russell Casse meets his son after he was released from prison.
Up next the dialogue between Jasmine and Tiffany in the strip club was extended.
Then there is an extended dialogue between David and his father on the way to the White house. Right after this is an added scene in which David is searching for the number of Constance's handy.
Another added scene features David and his father in the oval Office. The father is talking about the persons who visited this office. Actors, football players and now himself...
Right after Jasmine found the truck, there is an added scene in which the illness of Russell's youngest son is described.
The next added scene features Jasmine as she drives the truck and some survivors through the destroyed city.
Later in Area 51 there is an added scene in which David Levinson and Dr. Brakkish Okun go into the alien spacecraft. Here the Doctor explains some of the alien technology.
As Captain Steven Hiller arrives with the alien visitor, a scene was added in which Russell asks for a doctor for his ill son.
The last extended scene shows Russell's daughter establishing a new friendship while the fight rages above Area 51.
As a rule, I don't like high-concept movies. However, Independence Day is one of the few with some merits. It is also the best film to-date by German sci-fi/action director Roland Emmerich. The greatest flaw of Indepence Day (aka ID4 due to initial copyright problems with the Independence Day title) is the excessive jingoism. Completely America centric, it seems that the rest of human civilization is helpless without the Yanks. The American President is not just the only world leader fighting for a free world, he even moonlights as a fighter pilot attacking the aliens.
However, its still a damn entertaining film. There is a large ensemble cast of good actors, some in career best roles. Will Smith was really launched as a movie star by this film and he has some very funny lines. Jeff Goldblum actually looks nerdy-cool as a scientist who likes to play chess in the park. And Bill Pullman is the clean-cut American President who proclaims that July 4 will no longer be an American holiday, but a world holiday! The rest of the ensemble cast includes small but meaty roles for Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid and Vivica Fox. Harry Connick Jr. has a small part but blows it completely.
The things that make ID4 watching is that something is always going on. There are plenty of one-liners and the one-dimensional character all have their peculiar personality traits and quirks. The action scenes are impressive and in fact this film has the largest number of miniatures ever built. That record will probably never be broken because digital technology is limiting the use of miniatures. If you can let your hair loose and just want to enjoy a light movie without letting the America is Great propaganda get to you, ID4 is for you.
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