“Independence Daysaster” is the perfect alien invasion film if you enjoy watching people do nothing but type on computers for ninety minutes. To compensate the lack of special effects, most of our alien invasion is implied, while the rest of it is merely watched from afar from other characters, all of whom can mysteriously see everything that’s going on from their vantage point. They even see a dog fight in the sky without fail.
Cribbing from the derivative “Independence Day,” WD Hogan’s alien invasion film is not the worst alien invasion movie, I just wish we’d seen more invading and less sitting at computers. There are a bevy of sub-plots and characters introduced, all of whom happen to cross paths at just the right time. The president of America is flying to his old home town to celebrate–something, and is on arrival at the town’s Independence Day celebration that’s attracted a crowd of two dozen people, apparently. When he and his troop are shot out of the skies by the aliens, it’s up to the president’s son and his fire fighter brother to stop the aliens. And they do so with a lot of computers, and fireworks! I don’t know how to take aliens seriously when they can be killed by fireworks.
After miraculously surviving the plane crash, President Garcette (played by Tom Everett Scott who is seven years too young to be president) is conveniently discovered by a local farm boy who happens to be a world class hacker. Since the aliens have knocked out world communications, the president uses the hacker to communicate with his staff, including his vice president who is anxious to undermine his rule as commander in chief. Meanwhile, a bunch of generic characters do nothing but sit on a hill watching the alien havoc in the city, seem almost unaffected by the mass numbers of deaths, and fight off the alien drones that look like razor lined yo yos that don’t seem to do much, except fly around and explode thanks to pretty much any volatile chemical.
When we actually do see America fighting back, there’s only a minute long dog fight in the skies where the armed forces are eliminated easily by the alien invaders. Shocking enough the military never tries again. And since it’s a world wide invasion, it’s pretty pathetic none of the other militaries try to intervene and stop the aliens. Where’s the defcon? Where are the other fighter jets? Why aren’t whole cities being evacuated? And why do people just stand around watching alien ships until they begin firing at them? There are about six really terrible inserts of people looking up at aliens and running away screaming.
Tom Everett Scott looks bored as President Garcette for the most part, standing around and trying to hack in to the alien ships with his miracle hacker team, and delivers one of the worst inspirational speeches ever written. It’s almost like the speech Bill Pullman gives in “Independence Day” except even more laughable. “Independence Daysaster” really tries to be “Independence Day” and is oblivious to the fact that the aforementioned film was about as shamelessly derivative as can be. It’s a generic and utterly forgettable science fiction entry that obviously spent more time on its effects than strong writing and performances.