“Independence Day: Resurgence” is upon us, so in a wholly, original idea not at all copied by other movie review sites, I took upon myself to review the 1996 blockbuster. “Independence Day” is a tricky movie to review because everyone has fond memories of watching it with their family at some time or another.
In many ways it is the quintessential action blockbuster movie for families with 12-year-old boys. Since I saw this movie as a kid, I do remember the excitement of sitting in front of the screen, gawking at the aerial battles, the huge walls of flames and the creepy aliens. However, it is by no means classic cinema. It’s a summertime flick that is perfectly paired with popcorn and a snifter of Coca-Cola.
“Independence Day” is not supposed to be taken seriously even though it has a predominantly serious tone. The plot is fairly straightforward: aliens show up, humanity scrambles for a bit, then we finally come up with a plan to fight back. It’s a perfect film to watch if you’re not in a thinking mood and just want to see some explosions and special effects.
It may sound like I’m calling it a dumb movie. Well, I am, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong to like it. In many ways, “Independence Day “revolutionized the summer blockbuster, turning the concept into the cash cow for studios since then.
Most of the expansive cast delivers enjoyable performances even if they are a little cliché. Will Smith is great as the smart-ass pilot with a fighter’s spirit while Jeff Goldblum is his usual charming self. The pair of actors have some good chemistry, even though we only see their characters together for 15 minutes. Then there’s Bill Pullman, who delivers one of the best speeches in a movie. The producers could have had tubes of salami reading lines and the film would have worked. “independence Day” is primarily an action movie and it delivers in spades.
It’s not hard to understand why so many people like and defend “Independence Day” from detractors. It’s a film tied up with nostalgia. Plenty of people undoubtedly watched this movie after a BBQ or a beach day with family.
Don’t get me wrong, the film has a lot of stupid stuff in it, but “Independence Day” is a competent, entertaining, big-budget action/science-fiction blockbuster. Real Americans love this movie as well they should.
Now go see the sequel.