Film Intel's Fight Club - Independence Day vs The Matrix

With Science-Fiction blockbuster Battle: Los Angeles in cinemas now and Science-Fiction non-blockbuster Skyline just out on DVD, today seemed an appropriate day for the Fight Club to pit two Goliaths of the genre against one another. Hits in 1996 and 1999 respectively, Independence Day and The Matrix ruled the world of late-nineties Science-Fiction blockbusters. But which comes out on top? There's only one way to find out. Keanu's Ray-Bans, ready? Fresh Prince's cigar, ready? Fight!

First Google Image Result (above)

You can't claim it's a great start for Independence Day (ID), which ends up with a poorly photoshopped poster for a fictional third entry in the franchise. Still, at least it is kind of representative of the film in question. The Matrix' (TM) effort is a difficult one to call. In very literal terms it is, of course, a picture of 'the matrix'. Fair enough.

ID: 4/10
TM: 6/10

Best Piece Of Parental Guidance On IMDb

A good effort from ID as barely concealed homophobia leaks out under 'Sex and Nudity' with the fact that 'David's boss hugs and kisses him'. The guide fails to list any other 'hugs and kisses' during the film. Strange Comparison Of The Day goes to TM which is described as being 'not much worse than "The Incredibles" violence'.

ID: 7/10
TM: 6/10

Best Character Name

ID's best efforts are the eponymous 'Redneck' and the barmy 'Elvis Fanatic', neither of which I can really remember but then, that's probably kind of the point. TM is full of silly Science-Fiction hacker aliases (Cypher, Trinity, etc.) but 'Spoon Boy' beats them all for pure childish hilarity.

ID: 4/10
TM: 5/10

Best Quote

ID has some decent one-liners, most of them from Will Smith with 'Welcome to Earth' the obvious highlight. Once upon a time though, TM was highly quotable. 'Whoa' remains its most obvious touchstone but extended pieces of theoretical rambling such as the trailer-friendly 'Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself' also stand the test of time.

ID: 6/10
TM: 8/10

Best Comparison

Good effort for ID with this site describing it as 'like a St. Bernard: huge, clumsy, inclined to drool, a little stupid, and lovable'. Parody website Uncyclopedia falsified a Keanu Reeves quote claiming that 'The Matrix is like a bowl of cereal. I'm like the milk', which is sadly all too believable.

ID: 7/10
TM: 6/10

Best Tweet

Fairly easy one for ID with @KyleBrandt34's recent tweet claiming that he was hearing 'that Battle:LA is "Independence Day" meets "Blackhawk Down". To me it looks more like "Bargain" meets "Bin"'. TM's winner is a tweet from @openculture which linked to this amazing image from the brilliant MovieBarcode website featured in Monday's article.

ID: 7/10
TM: 9/10

Best Rotten Tomatoes Review

In discussing ID, Rita Kempley of the The Washington Post pondered whether 'the moviemakers' mission was to boldly go where everyone in Hollywood has gone before: the bank' in a sublime bit of cynicism which is hard to refute, whatever your thoughts on the film itself. The benefit of hindsight may have benefited Ron Wells of Film Threat who proclaimed that 'if you're curious where the next generation of auteurs is coming from, look in the art houses and look in The Matrix'. A shame that rather than become 'auteurs', The Wachowskis elected to make sequels.

ID: 8/10
TM: 7/10

Best Piece Of IMDb Trivia

Not that it's a major role but if Matthew Perry had indeed followed through on his apparent commitment to play Jimmy 'Raven' Wilder in ID then I would not like to imagine the consequences. TM's best piece of trivia is the now infamous list of actors considered for the role of Neo; from Nicholas Cage to Ewan McGregor, the trivia page is a veritable list of actors who would have managed to mess the thing up.

ID: 5/10
TM: 5/10

The Matrix takes Independence Day down with a Bruce Lee-inspired chop to the throat and a score of 52/80 to 48/80 in a high scoring match up of sci-fi greats. The first film to cross the 50-point threshold, The Matrix takes the Fight Club lead whilst Independence Day joins last week's winner True Grit in joint second.

Film Intel's Fight Club: where two films get pushed head-to-head over such irreverent issues as 'first Google image result' and 'best IMDb parental guidance entry'. All films are marked out of ten on each topic with a possible maximum score of 80 - it won't tell you anything about the quality of the film (or will it?) but it might give you a few giggles. Or it might not. We'll see.


  1. What a great feature. The question is why havent I found this before???

    Anyway here I am.

    I love that tweet about bargain meets bin. Too funny.

    Thanks for this I am off to read the other Fight Club entries

  2. Cheers Custard, glad to hear you like it!

  3. Ha. This is fantastic. Wasn't Will Smith considered for the lead in The Matrix at one point? I swear I heard he turned it down for BAGGER VANCE. Or maybe I'm just being cheeky cause it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet.

  4. Yes, that's absolutely true - it's not just down to your lack of morning caffeine! That should have been the trivia bit actually come to think of it.