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The M.O.W.'s Movie Reviews (333)

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Independence Day (1996) 
Good, but typical "Alien Invasion" movie
3/4 stars

On July 2nd, communications around the world are sent into chaos as a signal is detected from what appears to be the moon.

At first, it appears to be one huge celestial body, but it is quickly learned that it is an enormous spacecraft that launches numerous smaller crafts that take positions over major cities around the world.

"Jack" (Jeff Goldblum), a former scientist, figures out that the aliens are using the world's satellites to send signals to each other to coordinate an attack which begins on July 3rd, when the ships begin to attack major cities around the globe.

Survivors of the attack converge on Area 51, a secret, but well-known, military facility in New Mexico. In a part of the facility, which is inaccessible to the majority of the survivors, is an alien craft which is much like the ones in orbit over the Earth. Also in this section of the facility, is the remains of three aliens which flew the craft that, in the film, crashed in a famed incident in Roswell, New Mexico.

The survivors around the world devise a plan on July 4th to take down the invading aliens, which leads to the typical ending to all movies in this genre.

There are some amazing special effects in this movie. The use of computer-generated effects and miniatures to make it appear that the alien crafts are of an incredible size is amazing. The aliens themselves appear to be mostly rubber puppets, but are well done.

The performances are good in this movie. There are just a few of them that are there for comic relief in this film, but they are as enjoyable as the more serious characters.

Surprisingly, Will Smith doesn't stand out in this film like he does in other performances. Other characters are not well defined, and you do not feel for them as they die during the alien attack.

Like I stated earlier, there are some fantastic visual effects in this movie. Most notably during the alien attack. Let's just say that this is one "explosive" movie when it comes to the visuals.

Some scenes lag, but that is by design, as they give the audience a breather from the action depicted in the alien attack. Most of these scenes happen after the alien attack, and focus on much needed character development.

"Independence Day" is an enjoyable movie that is a good rental if you don't add it to your personal collection.

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