Independence Day is an Earth based science fiction which was released in 1995 and is directed by Roland Emmerich.
Just when the science fiction genre was drying up, Independence Day came along and blew everything away. The theme is the same as in H.G. Wells `War of the Worlds`. aliens from another world, not Mars this time attack Earth and they seem unbeatable. Their ships have impenetrable shields thus rending Earths defences useless. The ships move from city to city, laying waste using a death ray. When the ray hits the ground, it causes an explosion which spreads out, helped by the alien ships shields preventing the explosions going up. The aliens like the Martians before have one objective, destroy all humanity. The President on arriving at area 51 tries to communicate with an alien to offer a deal, the alien rejects, they want to destroy everything on the planet.
It`s set on three days culminating on July 4th, U.S. Independence Day. You see the story from four groups of people whose stories all merge at the end. The groups are the President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), David Levinson, the meteorologist scientist who discovers that the aliens are counting down to something (Jeff Goldblum), the man who believes he was taken captive by aliens (Randy Quaid) and Capt. Steven Hiller, the gung-ho air force pilot who keeps failing to get accepted by national aeronautics and space administration (n.a.s.a.). It was quite predictable from the outset that there would be an alien captive.
When the producers approached the U.S. Air Force ( U.S.A.F. ) for help, they were all too willing to help on the condition that references to Area 51 were removed. The producers refused and the U.S.A.F. withdrew their help. Area 51 is a secret military research station in the Nevada desert that is believed by many to hold evidence of alien life. A further nod to`War of the Worlds` is that the aliens are defeated by a virus, however the difference was that the I.D. virus was electronic. The I.D. virus disables the ships shields allowing the air forces to fire missiles at and destroy the massive ships. One criticism of the film is that the Jeff`s character is able to come up with a virus in a matter of hours, whereas the scientists that had been studying it for years had no clue about its technology. The special effects used in the film ( excuse the pun ) out of this world. All the planes and alien spaceships that you see battling it out are all computer generated. When it came out, it became one of the highest grossing films of all time, just being beaten by Jurassic Park.
Albert Nimziki ( James Rebhorn )
Albert is the United States Secretary of Defense in the President Whitmore government. His character is based on Oliver North who was an army official in the Ronald Reagan Administration of the eighties. Albert is the one who reveals to President Whitmore that area 51 does exist. Area 51 is the supposed location where the United States is holding alien technology.
Marty Gilbert ( Harvey Fierstein )
Gen. William M. Grey ( Robert Loggia )
Capt. Steven Hiller ( Will Smith )
Capt. Steven Hiller is an U.S. Air Force pilot who longs to join the astronaut elite of national aeronautics and space administration (n.a.s.a.) but is rejected, gets the chance when the aliens attack Earth. He along with other pilots wage a seemingly unwinnable battle against the aliens with their impenetrable shields. Steven`s girlfriend is an erotic dancer which one of his colleagues believes is the reason he will never enter space. After a way is discovered to remove the Alien ship shields, he pilots the capture Roswell alien ship with meteorologist David Levinson to the main alien craft to knock it out. Once the mother ship is knocked out, the rest of the ships hovering over Earth can be knocked out as they are now unprotected.
Some time after the events of the first alien attack, Steven Hiller is involved in an accident that causes him to loose his life. In the sequel, Steven`s son takes on the role of the being one of the main fighters leading the charge from Earth.
Miguel Casse ( James Duval )
Miguel is the son of Russell Casse, the pilot who believed he was abducted by aliens. He tries to keep his father on the straight and narrow but as he is an alcoholic, he is having a hard time doing so.
Marilyn Whitmore ( Mary McDonnell )
Marilyn Whitmore is the wife of President Whitmore at the time of the first invasion by the aliens. Together, the Whitmores have one daughter who during the first invasion is with her father in the White House. Marilyn is in Los Angeles and when the invasion happens is in a helicopter that crashes. Despire Jasmine Durrow attempts at saving the First Lady`s life, Marilyn dies.
Russell Casse ( Randy Quaid )
Russell Casse is an one-time fighter pilot who claims to have been abducted by aliens. No-one believes him until the aliens turn up on 2nd July, two days before Independence Day. Since the alien incident, he has been living in a mobile home with his son Miguel and daughter Alicia working as a crop duster. The abduction has turned him into an alcoholic and does any crop dusting job to get by. When the President asks for pilots to help take on the aliens, Russell although not in a fit state volunteers.
Russell gives his life when the only missile left to destroy the approaching alien ship can`t be released. He sacrifices himself and flies the missile directly into the spaceship and causing the ship to explode and him become a hero.