Saw this opening weekend but didnt sit down to write anything about it. Mostly becaue there isnt that much that isnt just on the surface in a pretty easily digested way. In short, its just what the trailers say which is both good and bad. If theres one thing that the movie was beyond the trailers it was very loud.
The comparison to Independence Day is only half right. Maybe only one third. Yes, aliens are invading. Yes, the aliens win initially by attacking major cities. Yes, there are a scrappy few humans who are around; some of whom need saving and some who save. Yes, there is a cheesy, turn the tide speech. But wheres jokiness of Harry Connick? Wheres the mad scientist of Jeff Goldblum? Instead I would compare this to Black Hawk Down. Lots of helicopters? Yup. Some of which go down? Check. Fast-roping? Yes. Firefights? You betcha. The truth is there are a lot of borrowed elements in the story. Its an original idea thats made of a lot of older ideas. There are original elements like how the aliens have the upper hand tactically (beyond, you know being aliens).
One will get exactly what is promised by the trailer in amounts proportional to the length of a feature film. That seems harsh, but really the movie is well done: the special effects arent cheesy, the military consulting seems legit, and it was also not 100% telegraphed whos gonna die which is one of the things I subconsciously look for in movies. It does seem like they could have really gone whole hog about focus to deepen the characters. Id rather it were really BHD plus aliens but instead its plus civilians, too, which I think dilutes the movies sympathy.
The one unassailable thing about the movie is it is Loud. Im not sure if they just turned it to eleven for our showing but the firefights were especially good to watch on the big screen because of how full the sound is. You might say they borrowed the style from The Hurt Locker: loud and unencumbered by overdramatic scoring (counterexample: The Rock)