⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars

Quick Verdict – The first film I saw at the cinema twice



In 1996 I spent most weekends at the cinema. Either the ABC (now a Picturehouse) or the Warner (now Vue) Cinema in Cambridge. Having watched Twister, Beavis & Butthead do America and Mission: Impossible previous to ID4’s release, I’d seen plenty of trailers for the big summer blockbuster.

When aliens come from outer space and destroy all of America’s iconic landmarks, (plus a load of humans) it’s up to Bill Pullman, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to save the day/world. With a plot written in three weeks, there isn’t much else to tell you.
Now for me, Roland Emmerich peaked with Stargate in 1994, but I can’t help but admire the scale and delivery of a blockbuster that mixes grand set pieces with likeable characters. Something larger films seem incapable of recently. I’m looking at you Independence Day: Resurgence and 2012.

This film also raised the stakes for the Summer blockbuster and disaster films in general. Before this things like Earthquake and The Towering Inferno were great but were looking a bit dated. 

This is a blockbuster in full unashamed glory. For me, I’d happily watch it on a rainy Saturday afternoon for a bit of escapism fun and for the greatest speech in cinema history. ‘We will not go quietly into the night.’ Amazing! Watch the speech below. You’ll happily go fight some alien scum afterwards.

Watch this if you like –

  • The Towering Inferno 
  • Men In Black 
  • The Day After Tomorrow