Independence Day 1996 film review | Book Addicts

Independence Day 1996 film

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Independence Day is a 1996 action adventure film featuring aliens.

10 out of 10 stars.  The perfect 4th of July film for the alien film fan.

On July 2, an alien ship approaches Earth and takes out our satellites, hampering communication.  From this larger ship (which is the size of a small planet), several smaller ships the size of cities break off and enter Earth’s atmosphere, stationing themselves over major cities.  Every helicopter and plane that approaches the ships either crashes into the alien ship’s invisible shield or is shot down.

Meanwhile, David Levinson is a New York City telecomm engineer who tries to find his company’s missing satellites.  He soon realizes the satellites are not missing.  Their transmissions are being blocked by a repeating signal that is counting down.  When the alien ships appear, he realizes this countdown signal is being used by the aliens to coordinate ships around the world for a simultaneous attack in approximately seven hours.

Every military pilot in the country is called in for duty, but the President is still attempting peaceful contact.  David’s ex-wife Connie is President Whitmore’s Press Secretary, so he grabs his dad Julius (who is hilarious) and drives to Washington D.C. to speak to her (because she keeps hanging up on him).  He finally reaches her and the President with less than 30 minutes to go.  They get in a plane and fly out of Washington D.C. just as the aliens blow up the White House.

The film follows four groups of people.

  1. Russell Case is a crop duster who was kidnapped by aliens and became an alcoholic.  He’s the town drunk and the butt of every joke until he joins the national assault against the alien ships.  In fact, he is the pilot who takes out the alien ship over Area 51.
  2. Stephen Hiller, a marine fighter pilot who engages the alien fighter pilots and captures one alive who he takes to Area 51 for study.  His girlfriend Jasmine survives the attack on Los Angeles and saves several survivors who she takes with her to El Toro to wait for Stephen (including the First Lady).
  3. David Levinson, the telecomm engineer who finds the hidden signal then later discovers a way to disable the alien ships’ shields by introducing a computer virus into their communications equipment.
  4. President Tom Whitmore, a relatively young president who believes in peaceful coexistence until the aliens start killing everyone.  He’s a fighter pilot and leads the assault at the very end of the film.  Tom faces obstacle after obstacle when it becomes apparent that our weapons are no match for the alien technology.

10 out of 10 stars.  This was one of the most popular films in the U.S. for an entire decade.  There’s a reason for that–it’s well done.  It makes everyone proud to be an American and it requires the efforts of science nerds, the military, and common people to win.


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