If you’ve read my other blogs you may have realised that my favourite actor is Will Smith; for obvious reasons, he is just epic, and I don’t believe he has ever made a bad or even remotely low quality film in his career to date. My first experience of Mr Smith was of course when he played Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and I think from that series on I was hooked on the Smith.
Independence Day (I.D) is one film where I will not listen to any form of debate as to whether it is or isn’t the best film ever; because it is the best film ever. Simple. So the blog wont be an argument that tries to make its way towards an answer, it’ll just be an explanation as why it is THE greatest cinematic feat since movies began.
Kids today, (and I mean maybe up to about 14 or 15) will never understand the pure genius that went in to this film; from casting, to Special effects, to story, plot, props, basically the whole Mise-en-Scene, everything collides with a hectic mess-like perfection to create the film. It’s worth saying that not many films have everything in perfect order these days. No Mr Spielberg, not even you.
One of my favourite scenes is that desert scene in which Smith is trekking along with a ‘dead’ alien in his parachute with its “dread locks” as Smith refers to them, hanging out of the back. This scene is intense; not only does it show a Jet fighter-vs-Spaceship dog fight in which Smiths’ best mate and literal Wing-man gets killed, but it gives Smith a chance to show off his acting prowess with just him and the camera alone in a desert.
When he gets in to a role, he really owns the whole scene; and when he’s alone on camera, like this scene, he is something else. Let me give you two other examples of this. These are two of the reasons he is the best actor in existence…
1. His speech to his son about never giving up. (and basically the whole film)- Pursuit of Happiness
2. His speech about not needing his dad. – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
So make sure to check both of those clips out; you’ll be able to find them both on YouTube easy enough.
Anyway, back to I.D, one of the best things about this film is the fact that it is essentially two stories that eventually meet up and the two main protagonists in each story (Smith and Goldblum) basically nuke a mother-ship and save the world. One thing I don’t understand is how on earth (which is ironic on its own because he did it in space) Goldblum got all the right leads and software to be able to connect to the spaceship, if you can figure that one out let me know- anyway…
Possibly my favourite ‘comic’ moment (and that’s saying a lot with a Will Smith film) doesn’t actually concern Will Smith; well it does, but the specific bit doesn’t; let me explain. There’s a scene where Smith and Goldblum realise that they’re not getting out alive and just let the nuke go, but they manage to get bumped free and escape; meanwhile the two aliens in the other ship have a massive nuke shoved through their windscreen (or whatever it’s called on an alien spaceship) and they look at each other like ‘Well, shit!’ seconds before the thing explodes.
I also love that the kid who plays Smiths little cousin in The Fresh Prince is the same kid who plays his son in I.D, so the chemistry-even though he is only little- between Smith and the son is already brilliant. Even more casting perfection from Mr Emmerich (Director) well done Sir. Even though he is only in it a little bit, having the perfect cast for a film helps, it really does.
There’s so much to this film you can’t really expect anyone to summarise it in a blog review, so watch it. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 17 years and haven’t got around to it (which is the main excuse, but there are no excuses when it comes to Independence Day), I’ll put a trailer up for those strange folks who haven’t yet “got around to it”!