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No film had presented the destruction of the Earth on such an epic scale before this preposterously successful smash-hit sci-fi adventure came along. Of course, when we say Earth we really mean the USA - the rest of the world barely gets a look in. The story is simple: gigantic alien spacecraft hover above major cities and set about destroying everything below. Those plucky Yanks, however, won't go down without a fight. There are subplots focusing on the fate of ordinary folk, but most of the effort goes on the mind-boggling set pieces. Such scenes of digital mayhem are now commonplace, but this provided the template, and the levelling of Washington here is still impressive. Will Smith's charismatic performance as a wisecracking fighter pilot helped make him one of the biggest box-office draws in the western world, while Jeff Goldblum delivers a variation on his boffin role in
. Bill Pullman, meanwhile, manfully keeps a straight face as the beleaguered American President. Of the females, Vivica A Fox fares the best, although the likes of Mary McDonnell and Margaret Colin are largely wasted in supporting roles. But this is, after all, a special effects, not an acting, showcase, and a very entertaining one at that.
A fleet of huge flying saucers launches a devastating and unprovoked attack on Earth. As survivors try to flee the seemingly unstoppable alien invaders, the courageous US president, an ace pilot and a computer genius come up with a plan to take the fight to the enemy and save the human race. Roland Emmerich's sci-fi adventure, starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia and Harry Connick Jr.
Cast & Crew
Capt Steve Hiller
President Thomas J Whitmore
Gen William Grey
Capt Jimmy Wilder
Harry Connick Jr
Dr Brakish Okun
Edited for violence and language.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
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