Independence Day is the consummate blockbuster; it gets all the elements needed for a surefire box office smash and blows the whole thing out of the water. This film is on a scale unlike any other genre of film out there. Sure, there are plenty of film that match it, but most of them came after this one; the one that revitalized and reinvented the genre.
Roland Emmerich established himself as the mack daddy of big disaster epics with this film, a tradition he would continue with his later releases. This is not a movie designed to elicit critical acclaim; this is a movie designed to blow up as much as possible, and milk its audience’s adrenaline and other hormonal glands for all they’re worth, and as seen in the film’s box office gross, it succeeds wildly. This is also a very hard type of film to review critically, but the film is at the very least solidly made, and the visual effects (a standout of the film’s release in the mid 90’s) still hold up remarkably well today; even the practical effects, thanks to intentional hokeyness for entertainment value and suspension of disbelief.
If you haven’t seen this, it’s a mainstay on cable networks, especially around the Fourth of July (go figure), so crawl out from under that rock and give it a go. It at one point held the second highest worldwide gross of all time, so it had to have done something right with the audiences. Emmerich upped the ante in each of his successive releases, but here is where he started off, and it’s a wowser.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10