S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: Independence Day

As this is Independence Day here in the United States, I thought I’d celebrate in blog style by reviewing Independence Day, my favorite of the patriotic/Fourth of July themed films. Yes, I realize I’m shunning Born on the Fourth of July, The Patriot, and the grandfather of patriotic films, Yankee Doodle Dandy, but I wasn’t alive in 1942, I though The Patriot was a little self-indulgent, and I was never really sure if I liked Born on the Fourth of July. So the decision was pretty much a no-brainer.

Which, I realize, is what many people felt about Independence Day. It lacked smarts and was just a silly disaster film that disappointed all of those expecting something more serious and heart-pounding and terrifying. But I wasn’t one of those people. I just wanted to see the White House and New York City get blown up and I wasn’t disappointed.

Yes, Independence Day is a bit of a throw back to the disaster films of the 1970s, with a bunch of human interest story lines that can detract from the action, but I’m a fan of Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith and their banter in the alien spacecraft still makes me chuckle.

I admit that there was a significant cornball-factor, especially the characters played by Judd Hirsch and Randy Quaid. Not to mention the inspirational speech delivered by Bill Pullman. But Brent Spiner as the crazed research scientist was delightful and the special effects were a lot of fun. So if you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned alien-invasion, blow-up-the-world fun, give this one a look. Or watch it again for the first time.

And if you want to blow off watching the fireworks and make it a double feature of guilty pleasure patriotic disaster films, throw on Armageddon and get your Aerosmith on.

Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 10:55 am


  1. Every year I sit down and watch this movie; it’s part of my personal tradition for this holiday!

    I love this movie for the same reason I love The Three Muskateers starring Tim Curry and Kiefer Sutherland: The epic one-liners! “Peace…..No peace.”

    Will Smith absolutely makes me smile in this movie and, as you mentioned, his interaction with Jeff Goldblum is pretty priceless. The epic speech at the end makes me tear up a little every time (I cry a little at the end of Mr. Holland’s Opus, too).

    I just think that it’s great you brought this movie into your Monday Movie Review, especially today, because “Today…..is our Independence Day!” Hahaha!

    Comment by Jennifer Lewis — July 4, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jennifer. I watched the movie yesterday and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

    Comment by admin — July 5, 2011 @ 7:24 am

  3. Count me in! This is my go-to July 4 movie, and I watched it again this year! Scott, I could have written this post — I feel the same about this flick. It’s no great film but SO much fun to watch. My fave moment is when the riled-up Cpt. Hillen (Smith) reaches the alien ship, says “Welcome to Earth!” and clocks the alien pilot with a right hook! And I’m a fan of Bill Pullman in just about anything. :)

    Comment by Zuzana — July 9, 2011 @ 6:49 am

  4. Thanks Zuzana!

    Comment by admin — July 9, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  5. I love this movie, despite its flaws (I guess mankind was lucky that Windows was compatible with alien technology — ha ha). I’ve watched it so many times I can practically recite the lines by heart.

    Comment by Scott M. Baker — July 12, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

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