What else were you expecting for July 4?
Premise:Aliens attack the earth with the intent of stealing their resources.
Cast:Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson, Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller, Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore, Randy Quaid as Russell Casse, Vivacia A. Fox as Jasmine Dubrow, Mary McDonnell as Marilyn Whitmore, Margaret Colin as Constance Spano, Adam Baldwin as Major Mitchell, Judd Hirsch as Julius Levinson, Jame Rebhorn as Albert Nimziki, Brent Spiner as Dr. Brakish Okun, James Duval as Miguel Casse, Ross Elliot Bagley as Dylan, Lisa Jakub as Alicia Casse
Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.
Pros:Fairly entertaining. The acting isn't bad.
Cons:Sci-fi logic. Dated.
What would you imagine our first encounter with intelligent alien life to be like? Friendly? Cautious? Hostile? Here, it is most certainly hostile.
A movie like this isn't meant to make you think about deep issues. It's meant to entertain you, and in that, it succeeds. Most of the characters are fairly entertaining, though as you might expect, they come second to the action. The acting isn't bad either.
Almost all films end up dated eventually, but this deserves special mention. The technology and the product placement contributes to this, but there's also the massive destruction of pre-9/11 New York.
It doesn't always make sense, particularly in the way they ultimately beat the aliens (I don't think that's much of a spoiler). In the wreckage of one city, somehow there are still trees standing.
Overall, it's worth a watch.
Sex:A couple lives together and are shown in bed together wearing mostly just sheets. They make out and flirt a few times, and he makes a joke about all his other girlfriends. A couple of guys are shirtless. A stripper is shown dancing around a pole, while wearing only enough to not technically be nude. When she talks about her job, she defends herself by saying it helps her support her son.
A boy tries to convince his girlfriend to have sex with him ("You don't want to die a virgin, do you?"). It appears to be working until her brother shows up. A man who was abducted by aliens is mocked about getting probed. When the ships appear, the guy doing the mocking previously tells the news the abductee was sexually abused by the aliens.
A scene makes it look like a man is proposing to another. David suspected a female friend of his was having an affair with the president, but he was mistaken. A man jokes to his wife about having a brunette in his bed (he's talking about his daughter).
Violence:Several major cities are wiped off the map, killing countless people. They're far from the only causalities. Nukes are considered to deal with the aliens. The ships' presence cause tremors. Cars crash. A plane flies into a beam of some sort, killing the pilot. Lots of big explosions happen. People panic and riot. The aliens intend to kill off humanity and take their stuff. Fighters (both alien and terrestrial) get into it.
A man is slammed against a glass window. An alien is punched and kicked. Yet another is dissected, but proves to still be alive and decides to tear its way through the room full of people it's in. It dies by shooting.
David once fought with the President. Steven talks a guy out of shooting him. A woman dies from internal bleeding. A drunken man trashes a room. A bullet ricochets.
Drugs/Alcohol:Cigars are smoked, which one guy calls unhealthy. He still ends up smoking one himself. People drink. One flies while intoxicated. He later notes "I picked a h*ll of a day to quit drinking."
Language:"G*d" and "d**n" are used both separately and together. Also "J*sus", "h*ll", "sh*t", "bas**rd", "booty kissing", "a**", "a**hole", "up yours", "schmuck", "b**ch", "crap", and "bloody".
Spiritual:A soldier makes reference to the Reverend. Other guys respond with "Amen." The possibility of alien telepathy is mentioned. A couple is married in a military chapel. Before a mission, someone remarks nearly forgetting victory cigars nearly put a hex on it. There's a "what-can-we-do-now?-Pray" moment. A Jewish man says he hasn't spoken to God since his wife's death.
So what did you think?
© 2014 by M.R.R.