Independence Day (Movie)

by lakeerieartists

One of the best films of all time, Independence Day is one of those movies that never gets old.

I have watched the movie Independence Day (1996) so many times that I cannot even count them anymore, but there is something about Independence Day that makes it one of those movies that I never get tired of. The premise of the movie is one that we have seen time and time again in movies, on television, and in theater--Armageddon, in the form of evil aliens trying to take over the Earth and decimate the human population.

In the version for Independence Day, the aliens resemble an octopus, speak telepathically, and we are never really clear on what they want the earth for, other than to swarm over it for natural resources.

Independence Day Plot

Independence Day starts right away with the alien spaceships invading Earth's atmosphere, and dives into the resulting mess through the eyes of several main characters, including Steven Hiller (Will Smith), U. S. President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), and an amazing cast of secondary and background characters.

The story moves quickly through the surprise of the arrival of alien spaceships, to the understanding that the ships are attacking, and the results of the first attacks, to finding a solution to destroying the enemy.  Predictably, the Americans lead the way in the resolution and destruction of the aliens worldwide, and they are defeated on the Fourth of July, hence the movie's name.

However, even with the predictable forward motion of the plot, due to the highly talented cast of characters, the individualism and interaction between the characters, and the grab your emotions lines and music, this movie is a huge step above the crowd of similar movies in the genre.

Independence Day (Movie) President's Speech

Bill Pullman

Characters and Actors

The characters in Independence Day are all individuals, and extremely well played by the actors.  This extends to minor characters like the children, and some very small cameo roles that add so much to this movie like the very small role of Captain Jimmy Wilder played by Harry Connick, Jr.  Some of my favorite moments are played by minor characters. There are so many memorable appearances and lines in Independence Day, it is impossible to list them all. 

Here is one conversation between Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum that shows the mixture of humor and action that you see throughout the movie:

David Levinson: We're hit! We took a hit!

Captain Steven Hiller: [yelling] We're not hit! We're not hit! Stop side-seat driving! \

David Levinson: [trying to make a break for the exit] Left! Left! Tunnel! Tunnel! Exit! Exit! Left!

Captain Steven Hiller: Where the hell do you think I'm going?

David Levinson: Ok, ok We're we're we're uh...

David Levinson: Uh oh they're closing up on us... they're closing...

Captain Steven Hiller: Shut up, shut up, shut up!

David Levinson: Must go faster. Must go faster! Must go faster! Go, go, go, go!

Captain Steven Hiller: [escapes from the alien ship] [screaming]

Captain Steven Hiller: Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Captain Steven Hiller: Oh! Elvis has left the building!

David Levinson: Oh, thank you very much. Oh, I love you man!

Many of the lines from Independence Day have entered our general American culture, so much so that we don't even notice.  Just as an example, I accused my 14 year old daughter of sideseat driving earlier today.

Independence Day Movie Poster

Independence Day

Independence Day Tugs at Every Emotion

One of the reasons Independence Day is such a blockbuster movie is that the characters are quirky and real, and the turns of the plot tug at every emotion.  Characters are in turns funny, sad, patriotic, proud, excited, and depressed, and while the main plot is going on, there are numerous subplots from the interaction between the President and his immediate family, to the conflict for Steven HIller between his military career and his love for Jasmine, a single parent and a stripper, to Russel Casse's (Randy Quaid) fight to keep himself together, and hang onto his family.

The movie also brushes on our feelings towards diversity, and what makes a person a good character in life.  We see the diversity through the Levinsons (Judd Hirsch, Jeff Goldblum) who are Jewish, Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A. Fox), a single mom and a stripper, Russel Casse's children who are Hispanic American, and Marty Gilbert (Harvey Fierstein), a gay man, just to name a few.

Do Not Just Watch Independence Day on TV

If you haven't seen the entire film of Independence Day, it is worth buying or renting because when you watch it on TV, a lot of small scenes are left out, including part of the opening sequence of the movie.  While it doesn't change the movie in a major way, it definitely adds to the movie if you watch it in entirety.

Will they ever come out with a sequel?  Well, they are talking about it. . .

Updated: 03/21/2012, lakeerieartists
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Mladen on 03/12/2012

I am huge fan of genre.
I watched this film many times too. Though probably not as many times as you did. :)
This movie really deserves an article on Wizzley! And this is the great one!

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