Independence Day | 1996

Independence Day resurgence hits the big screen in just two short days, twenty long years after the original . So we have a look back at the blockbuster hit of the mid 90’s that was out of this world

Aliens land on the Fourth of July, and it’s down to US President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and feisty USAF pilot Captain Steven ‘Eagle’ Hiller (Will Smith) to do something about it.

The writing-producing-directing team behind 1994’s Stare up the ante with this large-scale, mulit-strand sci-fi adventure. This 1996 summer giant-killer is full of ridiculous posturing and sincerity (gung-ho presidential speeches, Smith’s pre-mission wedding), but Independence Day (aka ID4) works so well, building up a sense of menace for the first hour before going for an all-out alien attack, that you go along with it regardless.

By the time Randy Quaid, as vengeful abductee Russell Casse, gets in on the action, you’re willing extra-terrestrial butt to be kicked left, right and centre. And to cap it all there’s the White House getting blown up. Though the denouement ploy of having Jeff Goldblum’s MIT-trained TV company techie David Levinson mess up the aliens’ plans by downloading a virus from his Apple Mac laptop strains credulity that little bit too far… (if only we had Bluetooth and siri back then this could have been over before it even started!)

Of course its silly and over the top, as the world waits on the Americans to make to lead the charge, because MERICA! but this is still highly enjoyable.


Judging by the trailers of IDR this is a world where we have used alien technology to ready ourselves for when they return. Whilst this makes sense storyline wise, the main draw to ID4 was that we were the underdogs, hopelessly outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned. We could relate to the technology of the time being used to fight the invaders, but this time around I feel that may be lost, although no doubt it will still be amazing.

ID4 was the cliché sci-fi film blowing up land marks across the world because that’s a sound military strategy employed by all invaders, in a nutshell it was insanely pompous and brilliantly exhilarating in equal measures.

Back in an era where shaking cam didn’t exist quite yet and the Americans were the only ones who could ever save the day. Here’s hoping IDR stays true to its roots (having the original cast is a good first step) building suspense before hitting us with over the top action!

So out of a possible five stars Independence Day earns:


twenty years on it still looks great and is still as enjoyable as ever

What did you think of this film?

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