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9.4 7 10
FanFix June 22, 2015 4838
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"Ah-MUR-ih-ca! F*** yeah!" pretty much sums up the plot of this film, especially this version. If aliens come to take over the world, who you gonna call? 'Murica!

Now, this is called the "No Family" Edition, but really it's the "Crossfit Super Lean" Edition. Basically anything that does not service the plot: gone! Randy Quaid: gone! Character depth: gone! Strippers: gone! Women contributing to saving the Earth in any way: gone! Okay, honestly there wasn't much of that in the original film, so I'm sure the removal of nearly all females from this story is an unfortunate byproduct of the main function of the edit. Now, you might be saying "Hmmm...I dunno, I could do with some strippers in my dumb popcorn flick..." And to that I say, "touche' sir and/or madam!" I did really miss Vivica Fox, et al. That said, the original is honestly a pretty bloated film for a dumb popcorn flick, and so it kind of depends what experience you want.

I was worried that this edit would get rid of anything that gave the film actual fun or character, but not so! There are still plenty of quirky lines from the characters, and there is still some goofiness. But it's all toned down to sane proportions that better stand the test of time (holy crap, did I see this in theaters over 20 years ago!?) It moves along at a rip-roaring pace that exposes the film for what it is at its core: an update of the procedural disaster flick. But unlike an earthquake or burning skyscraper, the disaster here is global, and only the US military-industrial-complex can save us! Plus a dude with a Macbook!

Interesting results of this edit: not only is the US President an ultimate wish fulfillment character in that he's a young fighter pilot, but he's also a bachelor, a historical first. He actually plays co-star in this edit to Jeff Goldblum though, who now seems oddly cast as a relatively straightforward heroic heartthrob. Will Smith loses tons of screen time, ending up really as a distant third co-star, more fitting with his actual career at that point (as opposed to starring). Oh, and the President really saves the world in the relative absence of Quaid. 'Murica!

All edits are accomplished smoothly and expertly, btw, and everything is super professional except the kind of cheesy titles, tbh. And if you really wanted family, there actually IS some... Goldblum's dad and ex-wife still get a decent amount of screen time in conversation with him. In summary: this edit doesn't cut out all the cringe, because it's an Emmerich/Devlin film and there would be nothing left. But it's a ripping yarn that's kind of refreshing in it's lack of surprises or fancy twists (for the most part). Great watch for a July 4th beer 'n brats barbecue.

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