Summer Movie Showdown: "Independence Day" Review


Summer Movie Showdown: "Independence Day" Review

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-- Rating: PG-13

Length: 145 minutes

Release Date: July 3, 1996

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi


"Independence Day" is the 1996 blockbuster film about an alien invasion of Earth that many believe started the movie career of A-list actor Will Smith ("Men in Black"). The movie also stars Jeff Goldblum ("Morning Glory"), Bill Pullman ("Sleepless in Seattle"), Margaret Colin ("Unfaithful"), and Vivica A. Fox ("Kill Bill"). The movie follows a group of individuals who survive a massive alien attack on Earth. These survivors decide to gather together in the Nevada desert to come up with a plan of attack that will keep these aliens from killing the entire human race.


David Levinson (Goldblum) works as a satellite technician and discovers that aliens are coordinating an attack on Earth. He does his best to spread the word before the attack, but no one is able to stop these alien spaceships from destroying multiple cities, including New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.


Will Smith plays the role of Captain Steven Hiller. Captain Hiller, his girlfriend Jasmine, and her young son Dylan live in Los Angeles and survive the attack. While driving to the military base where Captain Hiller works, Jasmine finds a few survivors and takes them with her. She also finds the First Lady of the United States, who was in a helicopter at the time of the attack. Captain Hiller begins to plan an armed attack against the small spaceship that destroyed the city of Los Angeles, and he has quite a few people on board with him. Hiller and his crew discover that the spaceships that caused the destruction are designed to repel attacks; however, Hiller was able to lure and capture one of the alien pilots responsible for this mass destruction.


The alien is taken to a secret government location housing aliens that have been captured while on Earth where it begins to regain consciousness. Once conscious, the captured alien begins to reveal that its species roams throughout the galaxy, attempting to consume each planet's resources. Shortly after revealing this information, the alien makes an attempt to attack the President of the United States and is killed.


David knows that there is an alien spacecraft that was recovered by the government in 1947, and it is stored in the same location where the alien bodies are stored. He comes up with a plan to use this spacecraft to plant a deadly virus on the alien's mothership that will deactivate the shields on all of the ships in the alien fleet. Captain Hiller volunteers to pilot the ship, and David accompanies him to plant the virus.


As David and Captain Hiller embark on this journey, multiple men sacrifice their lives to support this important mission. David and Hiller also run into a few issues and are ultimately discovered in the mothership and prevented from leaving. However, David's plan does work. Armed with nuclear weapons, the two men decide to fire one off, which frees their captured spaceship but almost costs them their lives. The alien mothership ultimately crashes in a desert and kills the aliens, but David, Hiller and all other humans survive.


"Independence Day" is not only the highest grossing film of 1996, it is also one of the highest grossing films of all time. The movie won a variety of awards as well, including the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film and a Saturn Award for Best Director. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture.


"Independence Day" is still regarded as one of the best science fiction movies in history, and it is a film that people throughout the United States still enjoy watching on Fourth of July weekends. Some critics claim that the film is full of human vs. alien stereotypes, but this criticism seems to have no impact on the opinions of those who believe that this is one of the best science fiction films of all time.


Rating: 3 out of 5