Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
It's Independence Day in Podunk Iowa.  Or Wisconsin.  Or Indiana.  I can't remember.  But I do know that this is the hometown of President Sam Garcette (Tom Everett Scott) and he's coming back home.  Unfortunately Podunk is also ground zero for the Alien Invasion.  Just so you know, the aliens have attacked Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo, Beijing… and Podunk.  How did Podunk draw the short straw?  Regardless, what started out as an Independence Day Celebration has turned into… wait for it… an Independence Daysaster!  How about that, huh?

SETI, the institute that stands for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence, has one thing to do.  Keep a lookout for aliens.  That's it.  They suck at this.  I mean they find them, but damn, they are already all up on us.  Actually, according Celia the SETI Scientist (Emily Holmes), they've been here for eons, as their drills have erupted all over the planet, wrecking stuff and terraforming the Earth.  I could ask how these drills, planted thousands of years ago, knew where New York, D.C., L.A., Tokyo and Paris would be located, but we won't ask that.  Celia is riding around town with Fireman Pete (Ryan Merriman) who happens to be the President's brother, and also along for the ride is the President's son Andrew (Keenan Tracey) and Andrew's sort-of girlfriend Eliza (Andrea Brooks) who might be blonde and stuff, but she ain't no dumb blonde because she knows what a phoson is.  I think that's what they called it.

Right now the Earth, particularly the United States of America, is in a bad spot.  The President's helicopter convoy has crashed and everybody in those helicopters apparently disintegrated, except the President, since he's the only survivor.  No bodies or nothing.   Oddly enough, the same thing happened to the President's son and the SUV cavalcade he was riding in, as his Secret Service detail also disintegrated.  Apparently having people lie around dead would call for an extra day of shooting for these dead actors, which would've added to the budget.  And after seeing the special effects for 'Independence Daysaster', they obviously couldn't afford those extra days.
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Vice President Brubaker (Garwin Sandford) and Secretary of Defense General Moore (Michael Kospa) have assumed the President to be dead and have decided to be proactive.  First thing, send some jets to attack the alien orbs.  Now while I'm no military strategist or anything, I'm thinking that maybe we should launch a few surface to air missiles at these things, followed up by a few drone attacks so we can kind of see what we are up against before committing our entire air fleet and valuable manpower against these killer orbs floating above Podunk, but what do I know?  It doesn't work by the way.  And instead of trying to shoot a swarm of orbs out the sky, maybe drop a missile on those atmosphere transforming drills instead.  Next order of business?  Nuke the mother ship.  Now I don't know this for a fact, and maybe Reagan's Star Wars defense system actually works in a way, but do we have nukes in our possession that can travel around to the dark side of the moon and actually hit anything?  Is that possible?  Just asking.  That doesn't work either.

But don't worry, we actually have a way to stop these things.  Kind of.  Remember the Phoson?  The Seti Scientist has a Phoson gun and while we won't get into the science behind of all of that, just know that it works to stop these things.  The President has resurfaced, and with the help of the most awesome geeks ever created has managed to gain control of the nation again.  Kind of.  And he's reunited with his son.   And he and his brother have made up.  Oddly enough, I didn't even know they had a problem with each other, but an alien invasion can cure almost all ills. 

What we need is a away to get the Phoson gun on the mother ship to stop the mother ship from doing whatever it's doing.  And we'll let it go at that because SPOILERS will follow.

Now, I kind of liked director W.D. Hogan's terribly derivative 'Independence Daysaster' which liberally stole from all kinds of movies, but I did have a major, irreconcilable problem with it, this being the death of Celia the SETI scientist.  So, after a drone ship is dropped, a salvage ship shows up to pick up the pieces and take them back to the mothership.  Our heroes secured one of the power sources from this ship they dropped, plan being to attach the phoson gun to the power source, and then remotely activate the phoson gun to take out the mother ship.  All the power source has to be is on the ground for the salvage ship to take it, but Celia the SETI scientist chooses to commit suicide by running out into an open field, clutching this power source which gets her eviscerated.  What was up with that?  Unfortunately, this death has some long repercussions.  For one, the Phoson gun is something she invented and she's the only one who knows how it works, thus, say there are more enemy ships, who's gonna make the next phoson gun?  Huh?
Anyway, aside from the Secretary of Defense's awful military strategy and the suicide of Celia and the lousy special effects, 'Independence Daysaster' wasn't all that awful I guess.  I mean it is awful in the sense that I do like my Alien Invasion movies to actually have invading aliens in them as opposed unmanned machines, and I would prefer that the world's top scientist were able to offer up something by way of a solution, instead leaving everything to a suicidal SETI scientist and some high school kids, and it's no fun that a large portion of the movie consisted of people observing stuff, be it alien drills coming from the ground, alien drones descending from the sky or computer monitors displaying massive lines of ASCII text.  And we can also point out that while we took out the alien mother ship at the end, I don't think that actually stopped the drills from metamorphosing our atmosphere which was going to leave us all dead in three days anyway.  But other than that, it wasn't all that bad.  And by 'not all that bad' I mean I have seen way worse, on this very channel, very often. 
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