I have a confession to make. I may be a little snobbish when it comes to movies and TV shows, but Independence Day is probably the movie I have seen more than any other movie. I saw it in theaters with my dad when I was 7, I own it on VHS (and I have probably watched it a dozen times there), and I watch it every time it is on TV (such as this morning). Why do I do this? Because it is a fun movie.
Will Smith had already starred in some movies, but in a lot of ways this was his breakout movie. Smith was one of 3 main actors driving the plot of the movie (the others being Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum). While Smith probably has equal screen time to Goldblum and Pullman, he completely steals the show. Goldblum is actually pretty good in the role, but he looks weaker in comparison to Smith. Pullman is merely passable in the role of the US President, but that is par for the course. As my dad likes to say, Pullman never adds anything to the movies he is in.
The movie also has a ton of supporting performances that help to make the movie enjoyable. Judd Hirsch is the highlight of every scene he is in. Harvey Fierstein and Harry Connick Jr. of all people, made for good sidekicks for Goldblum and Smith respectively, early in the movie. Randy Quaid, as usual, makes for an amusing character, and proves capable of drawing the audience's sympathy to become an effective (if unlikely) hero. Margaret Colin, Adam Baldwin, Robert Loggia, & James Rebhorn also do good work in some thankless roles.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend watching this movie. It's not great and it doesn't reinvent the wheel, but as I said, it is FUN!
Movie Rating: 6/10
Speech from the President before the Final Attack:
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.
Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.
We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.
We will be united in our common interests.
Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from annihilation.
We're fighting for our right to live, to exist.
And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on!
We're going to survive!"
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!