Starring: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quiad, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn, Adam Baldwin, Brent Spiner, James Duval, Lisa Jakub, Giuseppe Andrews, Harvey Fierstein
First of lets go through the characters starting with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) a separated cable repair guy in a television company, David has a very religions father Julius (Judd Hirsch) who is a long suffering chess loser to David who simple keep a few steps ahead of everything based in New York. President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) a young ex fighter pilot who critics slam because of his age. His wife First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) who is on a visit elsewhere in America. On the President’s staff are Constance Spano (Margaret Colin) David’s separated wife, General William Grey (Robert Loggia) a general who believes in peace and Albert Nimzicki (James Rebhorn). We have a small travelling family the Casse’s father Russell (Randy Quaid) who believes he was abducted and a war veteran and his children Migeul (James Duval), Alicia (Lisa Jakub) and Troy (Giuseppe Andrews). Finally we have Captain Steve Hiller (Will Smith) an wanna be astronaut and top fighter pilot who girlfriend is exotic dancer Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) she also has a son Dylan.
On July 2ND alien spaceships enter the Earth’s atmosphere locating themselves in the world biggest cities. President Whitmore sets up an operation to communicate with the spaceship. While in New York David finds a code in the satellites that shows that in fact the spaceship are lining up like chess pieces for an attack on these cities. David rushes down to Washington to convince the President what is happening. David convinces the President and along with his staff escape seconds before the alien attack.
After the first attack the President relocates to Area 51 learning about a previous alien crash. Major Mitchell (Adam Baldwin) is the man in charge with Dr Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) leading the research projects on the aliens. President Whitmore arranges to a counter strike a lead pilot Captain Hiller leads his team in battle with little effect. Captain Hiller has a race through a canyon crashing one the the small space crafts and kidnapping one of the aliens.
We are not left to wonder how humanity will survive this attack? Will this mix bunch of characters be able to unite to defeat Earth new common enemy?
Roland Emmerich gives us his first major action picture with plenty of destruction too. With Will Smith doing one of his first lead role as Captain Hiller shines giving one of his best non dramatic performances. The Americas get a chance to be a heroes again in a true action blockbuster that all should see.
The Story is always going to be predictable but it is also very easy to follow, you can also pick up the movie from most points and not feel like you missed too much. This was the top grossing film of 1996 with $306million. With talk of two potential sequels you are left wondering how those could come about tho.
My rating 92%