ID4 Independence Day Special Edition

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ID4 is brilliant in its use of models, special effects and a great star studded cast. It is realistic in that it doesn’t go overboard with crazy stuff that would never work with our technology as it is now. The film is smart, entertaining and full of explosions that are sure to appeal to audiences young and old all over the world. This film has something for everyone unless you just hate Will Smith and science fiction films. We get to see some of the best acting but unfortunately some of the cliche one liners that are stuck to some actors. That aside we get a great performance and this was one hell of a big screen debut for Will Smith. No longer the slacker rapper but now a Hollywood star that shines.

Something is headed for earth but the government doesn’t know exactly what. All their sensors, satellites and deep space observatories haven’t seen it coming at all. On the day of its arrival it even uses the moon to shield its approach as it sends out it coordination signal. We can only imagine that not only is it trying to sinc up with our satellites but it just might be trying to contact something that was on earth already. Little do they know that the ship that they are looking for is no longer under their control. Its the 2nd of July and they are getting ready to greet up in a way that no one is going to enjoy. They have come to our earth to drain it dry and it seems like there is nothing that can be done about it. No one knows what they are or what is going to happen except that of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who figures out that their signal that is messing with the satellites is actually a countdown to doom. He has to tell someone when he sees his ex-wife Constance Spano (Margaret Colin) introducing President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) at a White House press conference. Being that they are ex’s he is unable to make her understand and him and his father Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch) take off to Washington D.C. to try and convince her.

Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is finally on leave and is spending it with his girlfriend Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A. Fox) and her son Dylan Dubrow (Ross Bagley) for the 4th of July weekend. He loves her dearly and can’t seem to let her go even though doing so might help his career. He wants to be a Shuttle pilot but Jasmin being a stripper is just not going to look to good if that bit of information gets out. He doesn’t know what to do but all of that is put on hold when he sees a huge 15 mile in diameter spaceship hovering over LA while he is reading the paper. There goes the weekend but it saves him from having to break off his relationship. He has to report for duty and be ready if the need arises, which it does. Little did anyone know that the Air Force would be nothing more then an annoyance to the visitors from outer space. There were clues as to their capability but that information was buried deep in secrecy so deep that not even the President knows about it.

Watching the film is a true adventure as it leads you step by step as it builds toward the confrontation with the aliens. It is a shame that the theatrical version did not include the same content that is in the Special Edition on the DVD and Blu-Ray. That extra content fills in many of the holes that made the theatrical version not receive better reviews then it did. If that content had been in there it would have left the audiences and the reviews feeling like they were seeing a complete film. It is amazing how adding back what was cut for time can make a film look, feel and do so much better. I know that there are times that a film has to be trimmed for time but sometimes those trimmings can damage a film. ID4 Independence Day would have done better if the extra bits had been left in. With the extra frames you get to understand the tensions between Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) and his son Miguel Casse (James Duval) as well as why Troy (Giuseppe Andrews) was even sick at all. It had nothing to do with the advent of the aliens as some had speculated but because he had a serious genetic condition that needed constant medicine to control.

It is all the little things and details that make movies great and not just the numbers at the box office. If the whole film would have shown people would have been able to more empathize with some of the characters and would be able to better understand why they needed to be there in the first place. This reviewer is glad to have been able to see the whole story and not just the parts that made it to the big screen. Now if you don’t want all the extra parts the DVD and Blu-Ray do give you the option of seeing just the theatrical version but after seeing the special edition of the film why would you want to see something that was so watered down. If you really want to be able to experience the full scope of the film and story then you have to see the ID4 Independence Day Special Edition, seeing it you will not want to ever see the theatrical version ever again, just the special one.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★★