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ID4 (Independence Day)  

There are three good bits related to this movie, four if you count the closing credits. One is the promotional commercial Australian television decided to show that had the scenes of mass destruction overplayed with REM's 'It's the End of the World as we Know It'. A nice little sing along even if it did remove the effect the films producers were trying to achieve.

The second is Will Smith as he goes out to collect the morning paper completely oblivious to what is going on around him, having missed the aliens arrival because he was more interested in his girlfriend at the time. Something most of the punters that saw this movie at a Drive In could probably relate to as well.

The third one is the White House getting blown up.

The rest of the movie is basically crap.

Jeff Goldblum plays the same character he has become typecast as lately, the annoying smart arse git. Team that with the annoying smart arse git's father, the racial stereotype smartarse know-it-all git.

Not that I am anti semitic but why are these characters always Jewish? Harry Connick Jr swans around playing someone forgettable and Brent Spiner shows what roles you end up getting offered if you spend too long playing TV sci fi androids.

The military and action parts of the movie start to smell after a while too. Do we really believe the mighty USAF only flies one sort of fighter? Couldn't they CGI in a few different types?

In the first attack it is plausible as they are from one squadron but in the end when it is the all or nothing attack I expected everything from Stealth Fighters to hand gliders. The movie must have been made in Airforce week as well as there is sod all mention of the Navy and Army.

Massive launches of Tomahawk missiles and carrier air strikes would have worked well, as would scenes of massed battalions of tanks firing on the alien ships but no, the rest of the armed forces don't give a shit that the world is about to end.

Not that you would know it from the Movies direction. They show the airbase getting attacked about midway though the movie and then decide to just cut away from it and leave you wondering exactly what happened to it.

Unfortunately you then find out - it gets turned into a place marked Cliché Central as all the wildly spread characters who are not currently sitting in Air Farce One with the President being annoying gits decide to meet up there and have a big hug.

Meanwhile back in the top secret underground base that only the racial stereotype smartarse know-it-all git seems to know the existence of, one of the aliens decides that it is not really something that can be knocked unconscious with one punch but is really a psychic killing machine and decides to wipe out the entire lab staff.

It is about then as well that the President finally realises that these aliens are not actually very friendly. You think with mass destruction of major cites around the world it would have have tipped him off just a little bit earlier?

Now to the captured alien space ship that is about 40 years old. Are aliens so stupid that they do not know about things like IFF and 'correct docking procedures'?

'Gee Tharg, there is an out of date fighter with no IFF codes and no com channels open trying to dock with us and is 40 years older than every other ship we are using. Shall I let him in anyway?'

Cutting back to earth the dialog suddenly becomes lifted from an 80's airport disaster movie with the line 'anyone know how to fly a plane?' Ever wondered why a government spends bucket loads of money training combat pilots? Ever wondered why most training aircraft are two seaters? Ever seen Battle of Britain where the new pilots turn up with only 20 hours flying time on Spitfires and are then killed in the next 5 minutes?

Of course you soon forget about all that as a few minutes later you start to choke on the sickly sweet taste of American flag waving as El Presidentia does his Henry V impression. They all then take off, again in a huge squadron of F/A18's they just happened to have lying about just in case they needed to invade some small Central American country and fly off to attack the GIANT city destroying alien spaceship using LITTLE air to air missiles.

You would think they might load up their aircraft with something a tiny bit more destructive like some of the 2000lb bombs they found so useful for blowing up Balkans farm carts and Iraqi Baby Food Factories (allegedly), the same sort of weapons air forces around the world had found so useful in destroying 'big' targets for nearly 100 years but no, this being Hollywood they decide that crashing a rather annoying character into in the spaceship in a heroic self sacrifice would be much more realistic.

Real American Generals would have just nuked it, after all, 'collateral damage' is a favourite American forces phrase. Fortunately it all ends about now anyway, leaving you with the slightly more scary thought that they are currently planing a sequel.

Whether it is called ID5, ID4.01, ID2000, ID Card, or, using the next major US holiday, Thanksgiving Day, we have (thankfully) yet to be told.

Either way, you can be pretty sure it is going to suck.


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