(Theatrical Version)(Special Edition)
DIRECTOR: Roland Emerich
Independence Day to me, was the film which heralded in the days of explosive blockbuster. Where it was not just the case that the world was not safe, and than anything could happen, more of a time when as much a possible needed to happen. Monument after monument must fall and indeed, films began to almost rival each other in the levels of destruction.
And all this began with the teaser trailer which featured the destruction the White House by and Alien destroyer. That scene has yet to be revealed in my opinion, as do many of the destruction scenes full stop.
July 2nd: They arrived; and they arrived in style, with a textbook tension building entrance, and for the first fifty minutes, the tension is as high as the anticipation. We are all waiting for the inevitable and we are not asked to wait to long, but after the monumental destruction sequence as the firestorms consumed the major cities, the film takes a bit of down turn.
The problem is that the film asked various questions, generally about our reactions to the walking up one morning to find UFO’s hovering over the world and would aliens muck about with diplomacy if they had to the power to destroy us. But after fifty minutes, they have all been answered and the film does not really have anywhere interesting to go, so cue Will Smith and a string of zingers, not bad ones mind, but the weight of this film shifted from intriguing to fluffy.
Minutes 54 to 156 are sheer entertainment,with nothing more stimulating that miner moral dilemmas about nuking the aliens destroyers, dealing with loss, but not in any significant way, and eventually fighting back with an adaptation of H.J. Well’s the common cold in the form of a computer virus, delivered by the world’s must insanely powerful Macbook!
In the end, this is a film of two halves, the first being a brilliantly epic portrayal of an alien invasion and the second, popcorn fodder revolving around heroic American’s saving mankind again, from insurmountable odds.
The Special Edition first released in 1998 on Laserdisc and then again on DVD a few years later, is a let down. Not only adding very little to the narrative besides a few minor character details, it also broke the building tension and damages the editing as scenes are clearly shoehorned in.
This was a massive movie in it’s day, successfully demonstrating how a film be hyped to astonishing proportions and deliver somewhat on that promise but whilst there are many die-hards like myself who regard this as a classic, I understand that many will not. Still recommended, though the Theatrical Cut is superior…