Independence Day (1996)

I’m going to start this review with a bold statement: This is the perfect summer movie.

Not to say that it’s a perfect movie, but it’s the perfect summer movie. Even though it was in theaters 15 (FIFTEEN!) years ago, I can still picture walking out of the grueling summer heat and into a refreshing air-conditioned theater to watch this film. I still get a rush everytime I watch it (which, as you might have guessed, is every 4th of July. What can I say? I’m a man of tradition.)

Gizmo Gremlins
Just wait until we get to my favorite Christmas movie

From an objective viewpoint, Independence Day really isn’t even that good. There are too many characters (most of which are one note), the plot is pretty cheesy, and how the hell was the Macbook able to give a virus to an advanced alien spaceship? But it doesn’t matter. This movie is intended to be pure fun and it does that really damn well.

It all starts with Will Smith. Does anyone out there not love Will Smith? Is it even possible? The man’s charming as hell. No one else could have made a line like “Welcome to Earth”… I mean “Welcome to Earf!” work the way he did.

It’s also a nice twist on the traditional “alien invasion” movies. Most of those movies had the aliens hiding in rural farmland, hoping they don’t get wet.

Signs is a silly movie

Independence Day puts the invasion front and center, and it works. You feel the impending dread and build-up before the aliens finally attack. And when they do attack… hot damn is that an awesome fireball.

Now we get to the fun part of the review: picking apart the minor flaws in a movie I actually really like.

1: Why the hell does no one believe Randy Quaid when he says he was abducted by aliens? And I’m not referring to the parts of the movie before the invasion. After the aliens have already invaded, hell, even after the aliens have already attacked, no one believes him. Will Smith punched an alien in the face, and no one believes Randy Quaid was abducted? Hell, it’s easier than believing that someone like Randy Quaid could exist without some sort of supernatural involvement.

2: I’m happy that the dog (Boomer) survived. Really, I am. Dogs are awesome. But there’s no way that Boomer could have outrun that fireball. But, I’ll let this one slide. It’s hard enough to have light moments after killing off milllions of people. I don’t think even Will Smith could make us smile after watching a dog get toasted.

Will Smith
“Now that’s what I call a hot dog”

3: Really? A Macbook? I don’t have a computer that can read floppy disks (which sucks because I really want to play Gizmos and Gadgets), but Jeff Goldblum can plug his Macbook into a spaceship capable of travelling light years and vaporizing cities?

There might be other flaws, but I don’t really care. I love this movie.

Final Verdict: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is the perfect summer movie. Watch and enjoy.

And Welcome to Earf.

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