9. Independence Day
Hey, lets blow up the White House. The Empire State Building. Every city in America in the most spectacular fashion possible. Let's make alien flying saucers a mile wide. Jet fighters versus alien ships. Let's get some killer aliens and the guy who played Data to be a mad scientist. Will Smith is cool. Let's stick him in the film. Oh and a kid, because Spielberg always does that and people like his films. Plot? There has to be a plot? Oh...we'll use the final solution from War Of The Worlds.
Except let's make it a computer 'virus'. That will be clever. There's no denying that Independence Day
was a whole lot of fun. Sure it's cheesy. Sure its characters have as much depth as an average episode of the Tellytubbies. But it was a great summer blockbuster. And the city destroying explosive carnage that goes on and on and on is breathtaking. Literally. The moment the words July 3rd came up on the screen I heard the entire cinema let out huge, simultaneous breath of relief. Love of cheese aside, there's no denying that its a mess of a film. In the chaos of the alien invasion characters just happen to wind up together? The world would so easily accept a global independence day and unite to take down the aliens...in the space of 48 hours? The convenience of a crashed alien ship from Roswell that allows our heroes access to the mother ship. Oh and the laptop is compatible with an alien USB port?! The sole motivation of this film is to blow up stuff. Special effects 94%. Characters and plot 6%. My appreciation of cheesy fun aside, I would have loved a bit more depth, a bit more cleverness. I'm not expecting Shakespeare but I would have liked a bit more science then 'give the aliens a cold'. I would have liked characters that shades of grey to them. The conflict of opportunistic humans trying to take advantage of the chaos. Still sometimes blowing up stuff is all we need. So maybe Independence Day
isn't so bad after all...