My Review of "Independence Day"
I used to love this back in the day but a lot has changed. I wasn't sure if I'd still enjoy it as much today.
Independence Day is one of the biggest movies that had come out back in 1996. It was one of the big blockbuster movies that put Will Smith on the map and was at the height of the Jeff Goldblum era. I was merely a teenager when I saw it the first time and I loved it. 25 years later I wasn't sure if this movie would translate quite as well. Would it be the nostalgia that would keep me interested or is it actually still an entertaining movie today?
This movie starts off with some mysterious shadows over the moon. It builds on the mystery that something is about to happen on earth but we don't quite know what it is. It's fun because the trailers for the movies gave away a lot of the movie already. There's a bit of dramatic irony because the audience already knows what's up.
Still it's a good introduction to some of the heroes that we're going to see throughout the movie. We see that the president is down in the polls but he's this stoic righteous person that doesn't have much care about polls. Then we have this character David who's a computer genius that figures out that messages have been coming from outer space. We also have Steven Hillier who is this hot shot military pilot trying to live an ordinary life. Finally as a minor role but at times steals the show there's Russell Casse. He's a drunk air force veteran that was abducted by aliens 10 years ago.
The film does a good job in exploring these characters throughout the first act of the movie. Each of the characters have separate motivations outside the main goal of eradication of the alien invaders. We see each one of their home lives and it basically builds a great audience rapport with each of the characters.
We see the president has a wife and daughter. At the same time he's trying to lead the world to destroy the aliens he's desperate to keep his wife and daughter safe.
Then there's David who's trying to save the world before the alien invasion. He wants to have a significant impact on the world and this could possibly be it. They added a little love story with his estranged wife to add a bit of tension between him and the president.
Steven's story is similar to the president's. He wants to marry his girlfriend and her son. The problem is that his girlfriend is a stripper and this is frowned upon with the space program in which he really wants to get into. This storyline is a bit stretched by today's standards but it also shows how we used to think back in the day and how things have changed today.
Russell has such a minor role in the movie but they gave him such a backstory. He's been abducted by aliens and no one believes him so he's basically the laughing stock of the whole down. I think that's why he's gone down a path of alcoholism. His three kids are embarrassed at his drunkenness and you really feel bad for the guy. They pushed his character really well to pay off later at the end of the movie.
It really felt like every part of this movie had some importance for the rest of the movie. There really isn't any wasted film. Each scene is meticulously put in there to provide some sort of emotion to the audience. We see friends dying to show how dire the situation is and that we can't take for granted anyone could die. That sense of danger flows throughout the movie. Still knowing what will happen next I was still intrigued and engaged throughout the movie. I'm shocked too because I've seen this movie a million times.
There are themes that probably wouldn't make it in today's climate anymore. The male centric vision of the movie would not really be viewed as well today. A lot of the dialogue and speeches are fairly corny and speaks of the time that this movie was made. I know a lot of people that didn't like this movie because it pushes some geopolitical issues. It seems America is out to save the world again.
Again this movie is 25 years old a lot has changed. A lot of the special effects look very outdated. I remember being wowed at the spectacle of this movie's effects but today they kind of look like a YouTube creator made the movie. It's astonishing how advanced we've gotten with movie special effects.
The most important thing is that I was still able to enjoy this movie despite those aforementioned problems. I have to admit that there is a bit of nostalgia that probably helped me enjoy this movie a little bit more but I think if kids watched this movie today they'd still have a great time.
Overall, I would think this makes it a timeless movie. It definitely has its flaws. If you can still enjoy this movie despite the flaws then it's got to be good. That's not just nostalgia talking or is it? I have to give this movie an 8 out of 10. I have watched this movie over and over again and I still don't really get tired of it.