Time: 145 mins.
Genre: Action/Science Fiction
Won Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Nominated for Best Sound.
SYNOPSIS: The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determinded band of survivors, uniting for one last strike against the invaders – before it's the end of all mankind.
BOTTOM LINE: I like everyone else love the big summer blockbuster. However, I was more than a little disappointed by this special effects laden piece of mediocrity. Not that the effects were bad. They were actually the only good thing about ID4. Sure, it has a great cast and the world's most famous monuments being blown into kingdom come, but the lack of story is appalling and what's left is a hodgepodge of bad one-liners and over-the-top emotion. Were parts of it exciting? Absolutely. Some of it funny? Yes, because of Goldblum, Hirsch and Quaid. Is Smith a great action hero? You betcha. He has a wonderful mixture of physical strength, keen intelligence and a wicked sense of humor, all on display here. His presence is what makes this film at all watchable. Hell, he even made WILD WILD WEST somewhat amusing.
The filmmakers try to infuse heart into this movie by giving the leading men love troubles, but it just dilutes the main point of the film to kick alien ass. I don't think if the fate of humanity was really on the line they'd be worrying about their love lives. If the aliens win there is no future, so stop pandering to the ladies in the audience and get down to business. I know concern about their own families is supposed to bring the horror of the situation home, but if you can't feel sorry for the millions who die initially, what's one more death supposed to do? As long as the film focuses on the action, it's entertaining. The rest of the time, it's a bit hit and miss, however, if you like your sci-fi loud and without much of a plot to get in the way of the visuals, ID4 is the film for you.