Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's the End of World, and You'll Feel -- Fine

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's the End of World, and You'll Feel -- Fine

Article excerpt

For once all the hype is justified: Independence Day is one

monster of a movie.

A lavishly explosive depiction of the end of the world as we

know it, Independence Day marshals so much destructive power,

with so much relentless enthusiasm, that it obliterates any

remotely comparable special-effects blockbuster that came before

it.

Jurassic Park? Quaint. Twister? A tea party where everyone's

worried about getting grass stains on their white clothes.

Independence Day -- shamelessly entertaining and imitative (is

there any science-fiction movie it doesn't borrow from?) --

stomps all over them. And it's going to annihilate a bunch of

box-office records.

You could argue with its approach -- I would have preferred

stark and serious instead of cartoony and quippy. But there's no

quibbling with the results.

A product of the creative team behind the much more modest

Stargate, it's a mix of a cornball 1950s science fiction yarn

and a cornball 1970s disaster epic -- given a massive shot of

testosterone from some decidedly un-cornball special effects.

It's July 2, and city-sized alien spaceships have moved into

position over major world cities. Most humans, wisely, panic,

though some goofy Los Angelenos throw a rooftop party for the

newcomers. (Then there's the teenage boy who sees it as a chance

to woo his reluctant girlfriend: "This could be our last night

on Earth," he whispers.)

He's on the make, but he's right: Within hours, the spacecraft

have obliterated several cities, in ferocious special-effects

firestorms that are the movie's best scenes. They're scary,

exhilarating, mind-boggling, a reminder that, for all its

excesses and faults, nobody does this kind of stuff like

Hollywood does it.

From the ominous shadow of a huge alien spacecraft sliding over

the desert to the full-scale destruction of New York -- look at

the Statue of Liberty, lying on its face -- Independence Day's

effects are simply staggering.

They're also just about non-stop, but for some pauses for some

extraneous (and mostly lame) interpersonal stuff between its

sprawling, intermittently recognizable cast. …

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