Midway (2019, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Six months after the Pearl Harbour attack, the Japanese and US navies battle in the Pacific. Clunkily-scripted military action-drama that doesn’t have quite the effects budget needed to pull off its ambitious visual ideas. Poor lighting of greenscreen work doesn’t help. A decent cast of hunks and character actors do what they can.

2012 (2009, dir. Roland Emmerich)

A geological event threatens global disaster. Another of Emmerich’s gently-satirical throw-em-to-the-lions iconoclastic pictures, this time playing with Mayan prophecies and CG tectonic plates shifting. Fun if you go with it.

Independence Day (1996, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Aliens invadeĀ Earth. Patriotic, team-oriented, and generally satisfactory War of the Worlds update which shoehorns in Wells’ ending and makes space for an ensemble cast having fun plus then-state of the art effects work. Slyly tongue-in-cheek throughout.

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016, dir. Roland Emmerich)

20 years after Independence Day, the aliens return. Sequel/reprise of the 1996 original, taking a lighter, space operatic tone. ID4:R works because it plays as B-movie fodder, and is less interested in plausibility than in creating fun moments.