Film Review: Independence Day

1996 sci-fi/action-adventure: Directed by Roland Emmerich; starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum. [rated PG-13] Stars given: 4.5/5.

TV REPORTER: Once again, the LAPD is asking citizens not to fire their guns at the visitor spacecraft. You may inadvertently trigger an interstellar war.

As required for every 4th of July, “Independence Day” and “Star Wars” are seen in homes across the great American soil, from sea to shining sea; filling those who live in the 50, nifty states with hope and delight, bathing them in the warm glow that does not come from the fireworks in the sky (or, possibly, the other various locations that one might set off a firework… usually against the advice of those who are sober), but from the TV in the living room. Since I plan to review “Star Wars” as a series and not as singular films, this which you are holding in your hands is the great declaration of my thoughts on the film, “Independence Day”.

Hitting the silver screen with a heavy handed, one-two punch combo of Goldbloom and Smith, this action-filled film often paves the way for fresh generations of sci-fi fans since 1996. Parodied countless times in countless films, games, and TV shows, it truly has shown signs of being a counted amongst the multitude of other classics. Even now, nearly 30 years later, “Independence Day” is still making the “top 50” charts when reviewed by networks such as AMC and TCM. And why shouldn’t it? It has all the strong makings of an action film, an adventure film, and a sci-fi film; and is celebrated as all three!

In it, Will Smith plays Captain Steven Hiller, a Marine pilot called on when radio blackouts begin to happen all over Earth and 15 ships come down from the heavens to launch an attack. He, along with super-smart David Levinson, must figure out how to stop the great invasion from happening before it is too late.

It’s hard not to rave about “Independence Day”. Even when taking in account for the film’s age, it still earns solid points in the three categories that all filmgoers look at: plot, SFX, and acting.

From start to finish, the plot is clear and is carried along in a rather evenly-spaced way. There are very few drags in the plot and, while, granted, the solution they come up with is rather far-fetched, it still is a rather decent ending that wraps everything up neatly. Remember, this is a 90s film—they balanced plot elements with giant explosions.

Speaking of giant explosions…


There are no shortages of explosions in THIS film! From the takedown of the small-scaled craft, to the infamous “white house scene”, all the way to the great big, grand finale, this film is full of explosive effects. But those effects aren’t the only thing people watch this film for: the secondary infamous scene involving the alien specimen.

But, really, you can’t have a great film without equally great acting. The acting can be the killer of a really good film or the turnaround for a rather poor one. Thankfully, this film is full of fabulous acting; of course, it doesn’t hurt that they have a long list of rather well-known names. That aside, though, “Independence Day” is one of the best examples of drawing in an audience and keeping them throughout the entire ride… and it is all thanks to the blend of great actors.

Truly, if there is one film that needs to be a seasonal watch, this 4.5 out of 5 film is the one! Why did it lose that last .5, you might ask? Well, no film is flawless, and this one is no exception. There are plenty of little flaws that add up, but it would be nit-picky to talk about them. Let’s just say that this film is great for what it is and enjoy it!


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