Review

We always believed we weren’t alone and now we know – July 4th is Independence Day – a time for the US of A to shut down and celebrate. Somebody didn’t get that memo and are headed for Earth to eliminate us using huge space ships over major cities. Our only hope is a team of an elite pilot (Will Smith) and scientist (Jeff Goldblum) and a rousing speech by President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) in the classic alien-action film, Independence Day.

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Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith save the day

Will Smith is Captain Steven Hiller, ace pilot but failed in acceptance to NASA as a space pilot. Jeff Goldblum is David Levinson: a bit of a scientific whizz with dry wit who we don’t know precisely what he does but figures out that the alien ships that suddenly appear over the World’s biggest cities are linked together using our own satellites to send a coded message to each other so they can synchronise their attack.

When Independence Day was first released in 1996 it was a summer Blockbuster with great special effects and some of the best entertainment around at that time. We remember it fondly for the typical Will Smith humour and the stereotype character he was famous for (before he started doing more ‘serious’ films), the alien encounters and the storyline which saw the USA save the world by pulling together and standing firm against the alien threat on July 4th.

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An iconic scene from Independence Day

Bill Pullman is the President who was an ex-Air Force pilot and gets stuck in with the rest of the army to help fend off the aliens and hatch a plan to breach their defenses with Hiller and David teaming up to make an unlikely heroic duo which work surprisingly well on screen together with Will Smith’s quick humour and Jeff Goldblum’s dry and monotone wit.

Independence Day has given us some iconic film moments, most famously is the scene with the huge Space craft above the White House with the laser beam firing down and exploding the President’s home. There were many films about aliens before this film but in our opinion, nothing was as memorable or since replicated to the same scale which makes Independence Day a stand-out classic.

Its fair to say that Independence Day has its fair share of cheesy lines and what would now be classed as ‘dated special effects’. For entertainment value, you’d have to a way to beat it. Without taking itself too serious, Independence Day could be stuck on the TV one rainy afternoon and have the whole family watching it without fear of being offensive or too deep or boring. There’s something for everyone and although not an Oscar winner, is just a good film.

Independence Day trailer:

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