Review Date: May 01, 2000
Director: Roger Christian
Writer: Corey Mandell, J. David Shapiro
Producers: John Travolta, Elie Samaha, Jonathan Krane
I had an initial problem with the alien beings, their accents and their exaggerated laughs, but all that seemed to disappear about 20 minutes into the film, as I got more and more used to their world. I also loved the fact that the aliens were some real bad muthas! I mean, these guys were nasty boogers! I dug on them completely, and was even rooting for them to stomp our dumb human asses...! Overall, the movie played like a 2-hour sci-fi comic book with many a loud bang, an overly obtrusive score, great scene transitions and some of the better special effects of the year. You truly felt like this was the end of the world as we knew it, and I certainly didn't notice any part of my fair city of Montreal in any of the proceedings (the film was shot on location here). This film is not to be taken too seriously, with many melodramatic human moments sappy as hell (one scene seemed like a carbon copy of Mel Gibson's infamous BRAVEHEART sequence "...fight for our freedom!). And I also could have done without the umpteen slo-mo shots of Barry Pepper running down Matrix-like hallways, but in the end, the film was fast, furious and just a good ol' time at the theatres.
Now whether or not you end up liking the film, I think we can all agree that this is certainly an admirable turn for Travolta. Both he and Whitaker chew right into their dirty, grungy roles and truly become these unconscionable alien beings. So if you're looking for a cool, mindless, special-effect laden film starring a couple of bad muthas, this puppy is made prime for you. This movie is loud, sorta campy, over-the-top and certainly not super-tight in narrative. But overall, the energy of the film is slated to "fun" and the last 20 minutes are especially wild. So don't take it all so seriously and enjoy the ride!