by Oliver Layco
Cheesy one liners? This movie’s got it. Dated 90’s special effects? This movie has them out the ass. A feel good movie despite all its flaws? Without a doubt. Independence Day is the movie that defined Roland Emmerich’s directing career. While he has had other movies before this one, his over the top explosions and destruction in this one is what he’s become known for. However, the real staying power of this film belongs to the king of July 4th movies; Will Smith. Bill Pullman, who plays the President, and Jeff Goldblum, who plays the scientist, round out the top three. The main premise is something we’ve all seen before. Aliens come to Earth, humans try to negotiate a peace, they attack us, we get our backs against the wall, we come up with an answer, and then we win; pretty formulaic if you look at it without all the effects and the work done by the actors. The effects are definitely outdated, which can be seen by toy cars flying through the air in the first attack. Yet this is overlooked given the time of the movie and a large suspension of belief. Will Smith delivers a great performance as the cocky pilot who survives the initial attack. Bill Pullman becomes a great action movie President and delivers a speech worth remembering. Then Jeff Goldblum is simply Jeff Goldblum; nothing much needs to be said. He even says a classic Jurassic Park line as he and Will Smith are escaping the mother ship. The rest of the cast delivers strong performances as well. Vivica A. Fox, Robert Loggia, and James Rebhorn, among others, all perform their characters as well as they could. I’ve never had a problem with pacing either because of the way the story is broken up. Looking back, yes there are flaws for it but if you were looking for a perfect movie to come out on July 4th then you’re going to be looking for a long time. If you want a movie that’s going to have you cheering and feeling good by the end, then you aren’t going to find much better than Independence Day.
8 out of 10 Bigblue Leaps!!