Film Scouts Reviews

"Independence Day"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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I don't know when I have enjoyed a movie as much as "Independence Day". Bill Pullman is such a good president that I'm ready to vote for him in November. Will Smith kicks fanny as a Marine fighter pilot who is ready to face the aliens who are hovering over the cities of the world. And one of things I really liked about the ensemble cast was that with so many heroes, you really didn't know who would live or die. With all of the big action movies you and I have a pretty good idea that the star will survive. It is just a matter of how. Will it be Jeff Goldblum, the scientist, who buys the farm or Mary McDonnell, the president's wife? How about Judd Hirsch, the Jewish Dad, Randy Quaid, the crop-duster pilot, or Harvey Fierstein, the guy at the cable company? Is this starting to sound like the disaster movies of the seventies? It is supposed to. Director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin worked together writing, directing and producing "Stargate" back in 1994 and they wanted to put together a disaster movie with excitement, danger and fun. They succeeded.

From the first moment when the aliens take up positions around the world to the closing credits, "Independence Day" achieves what so many films can't, a balance between action, humor and character. Yeah, the special effects are great but we have come to expect that. Casting Brent Spinner (who portrays android Commander Data on TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation") as the authority on aliens added just the right touch. Who better than Harry Connick, Jr. to be Will Smith's best friend? Besides, in the face of imminent doom, it is more important to keep your sense of humor. Rated PG-13.

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