Review by Russell D. Hoffman of science fiction film Independence Day 4

Review by Russell D. Hoffman of science fiction film Independence Day

Reviewed July 5th, 1996 after seeing the movie opening night, on the Big Screen at the SoCal theatre south of 78 at El Camino Real in Carlsbad, CA

Review by Russell D. Hoffman

Copyright (c) 1996 by Russell D. Hoffman.

ID4 is a great film. It's unpredictable. It's subtle. It's a tour-de-force. It's thought-provoking. It's even funny.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe in aliens and those who don't. I don't. I think it's possible that there is life out there somewhere, I just think it's extremely unlikely. But if in fact there is life, I think it's incredibly less likely still that it will have evolved into intelligent lifeforms (after all, look at the competition!) And if it does evolve into intelligent and mobile life, it would then still be extremely unlikely that it would travel 60 billion light years and end up here. Not when Dominos Delivers, like their ad's say!

And I really doubt the United States has any alien bodies in deep freezes anywhere.

But forget all that. It doesn't matter. See this movie.

To watch a science fiction movie, you usually have to dump some firm scientific belief which you rely on. Sometimes it's travel faster than light speed, or time travel, or transporter rooms, or changing size significantly, or egads, the force. (Personally, I believe in Duct Tape as the unifying force that holds the universe together. But I digress.)

At least in the case of aliens, I'd never deny that it's possible. It just is extremely unlikely. But it's certainly possible.

But just in case there are aliens, I've spent my entire life telling anyone who would listen that we as human beings--and masters of our planet--should not want to meet aliens!

The only race of "intelligent" beings we've ever known enslaves every other creature on it's planet, eats whichever other creatures it wants to (sometimes live) no matter how intelligent or kind the other creature appears to be, it ravages it's planet's resources and poisons it's planet's natural, original cleanliness.

It fights terrible wars amongst itself and enslaves, tortures, and executes it's own kind.

So if the one 'intelligent' lifeform we've ever known does all these things, why on earth (or anywhere else) would we want to meet another?

When the space probe that recently left the solar system was launched, it included a very detailed map to earth's location in the universe, as best we could describe it in pictures and such. I have contended since that day long, long ago, that that was a mistake. We should have, at the very least, tried to fool whoever finds the plaque and tell them we were on Pluto, or maybe even some nearby star. That way, maybe we'ed get the jump on them if they come looking. Seems to me that if we are barely capable of leaving our own solar system, let alone our galaxy, the last thing we want is some lifeform that can scoot around the universe at will to find us and want our cool wonderful world.

Of course, no one listened and the probe went off with descriptions of what our genetic composition was, our exact location, our major math and language systems, and more. Smooth move guys. No wonder someone's coming from 60 billion lightyears away. We're in deep, deep trouble now!

ID4 is about what happens when "they" get here. It's well thought out and extremely well done. This is a movie that, to me, defines and classifies a genre of film through the end of the second millennium. The science fiction film has reached a climax it will not soon top. I rate ID4 as the #1 film of all time.

Related Material at this Web Site:
Correspondence with someone at JPL
Comments about the rings of Saturn, space probes, aliens, and cosmic nothingness
Other Movie Reviews At This Web Site:
Rumble in the Bronx
Fly Away Home

Related Material Outside this Web Site:
Independence Day

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First placed online July 6th, 1996.
Last modified March 27th, 1997.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman