Independence Day Roland Emmerich

Independence Day Roland Emmerich
This is director Roland Emmerich's biggest blockbuster shamelessly re-released as a tie-in for his latest film, The Day After Tomorrow. To that end, the DVD contains a disappointing two-minute teaser for the new film and a scratch-and-win coupon worth up to six-and-a-half dollars off the price of admission. The rest of the material on the DVD — the special edition of ID comes with nine extra minutes of footage and two commentary tracks — has all been cannibalised from previously released versions of the film. And none of it was very interesting the first time around. The barely coherent director/producer commentary misses every opportunity to provide insight into the filmmaking process. Instead, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin are more interested in talking about how convenient a given location was, or how far it was to the nearest casino. But the big problem with the re-release is that we're left with the same aggressively boring film they gave us in 1996 — evil aliens try to destroy humanity and are narrowly defeated by Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and, wait for it. Randy Quaid. The story's many plot holes are glossed over with explosions and underwritten speeches extolling the virtue of global patriotism (i.e., American patriotism). The last thing we needed was nine extra minutes of this (the extended version clocks in at 153 minutes). The "new" footage deals more screen time to Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner but still doesn't manage to make their characters any more important. Will Smith has kicked alien ass to more comical effect (Men in Black) and Jeff Goldblum has played more nuanced scientists (Jurassic Park, The Fly). About the only interesting performance comes from Pullman, who seems to wake up every ten minutes or so to catch a good piece of dialogue. Ultimately, Independence Day fails on the modest promise of the Hollywood blockbuster, which is to at least provide some thrilling escapism. For an action flick, nothing much happens. This cash-grabbing reissue just rubs our noses in it. (Fox)