Directed byRoland Emmerich
StarringJeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell
World wide box office smash about an alien attack on Earth and the graet American fight back. This film is tremendous fun, but complete trash, if that makes sense. The plot is swiss cheese with extra holes, and the macho posturing and American flag waving is awful.
However, the effects are terrific. The scenes of the devestation including the blowing up of the White House are very well done.
To me, the film can be divided into three parts.
The opening of the film features the arrival of the alien craft and Jeff Goldblum figuring out the upcoming attack.
Next we have the aliens in attack mode as builings explode and everone runs for cover
Both of these sections work very well. The tension is high, and the effects excellent.
The thord section deals with the regrouping of the American forces and their fight back. This is the part where it gets ropey. I hated Will Smith's cocky pilot who wants to 'whup ET's ass', and why was Randy Quaid's druken soak pilot even in the film? Bill Pullman gets to do a Henry V type battle speech, while Goldblum goes from nerd to warrior with an AppleMac. The idea of defeating the aliens by giving them a computer virus is a clear rip off and update of the germs that killed the invaders in HG Wells' War of the Worlds. It is ridiculous though to imagine that the computer systems would be compatible with aliens from billions of miles across the galaxy, when anyone who wants to transfer files from PCs to across the street could tell you.
Plot hole aplenty didn't deter the millions though. This was a phenomenally successful film, that was really an update of HG Wells' book. It came at the right time when there is a lot of interest in aliens and wierdness. They even have a reference the the X Files and Brent Spiner, better known as Data from Star Trek:the Next Generation in it.
What really annoyed me though was the overly macho tone of the film. Mary McDonnell as the first lady dies rapidly, Smith's girlfriend gets to be positive for a bit, rounding up survivors, but she is a plucky stripper. Goldblum's ex-wife is a presidential aide, but does nothing but wait to kiss the returning hero. Stereotypes all!
This is a boys film, and even though many women will have enjoyed it, I find it sad that a cliched rip off gets to make so much money. 6/10
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