Thursday, December 27, 2007

Independence Day


Independence Day’s opening sequence is incredible; one of the best I remember. Dozens of fifteen square mile saucers landing on earth from a mother ship that seems to half the size of the moon; a musical score in the background giving you a feeling of dread; and a line from an R.E.M song “it’s the end of the world as we know it…”

It’s both scary and in some strange way festive, which, if you think about it, seems unfitting in a story that is about worldwide destruction. In this case, the pair of emotions worked because, in all likelihood, a real alien presence would arouse both fear and joy.

Are they good are, are they friendly? Do they even have mouths with which to talk to? By any stretch of the imagination when alien existence is proven true it will be a world changing event that has never been seen before.

Effects wise, there can be no mistaking of the feeling you get the look of the saucers; it was all fear. It was done very convincingly that the viewers may ask themselves how they would react if it was real: city-sized saucers are indeed hovering all over many of Earth’s capital cities; more so when they destroyed many of the planet’s recognizable landmarks.

The destruction of famous landmarks was a nice touch though I wish they’d made it more global; maybe a shot of the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum. Independence Day has had portions where people of all nations work together, so why not show a shared grief.

The characters are very well portrayed and are simple enough to understand. There’s a stripper, an environmental geek, an indecisive president; there is no character too complex that’ll give you a headache on how they fit in. Everyone is straightforward and simple plus they mesh which is very important.

Of the lot, I don’t like Bill Pullman, the indecisive president. He was meant to look weak as president but unfortunately he doesn’t come off strong at being a pilot which should have been - in the characters own words - his forte.

An old movie buddy of mine cry often cried out imperialism in the many films that we have seen. Independence Day is such a film. The world may unite under such conditions, under the American flag even, but does it have to be under the 4th of July. But it’s an entertaining film I told her so why ruin the fun with such thoughts, which is not to say she was wrong in her assessment.

She enjoyed the film as much as I did. It’s only now, a decade after the film was first shown, that I think of hidden messages and motives.

Why? Caused enjoyed it then; the film was that good that my mind was not floating around on things not seen on screen. That is my barometer; if my mind does not fly off then the movie was/is an entertaining experience.