Jul 4 2013 10:00am

Independence Day is the American Movie

Independence Day, White House blowing up

You promised not to watch it, but come July 4th, it seems to be inevitable. It’s playing on all the holiday marathons, it’s full of exploding things while you wait for exploding fireworks, and (if we’re feeling less highbrow) it’s pretty damn fun. But what if that’s just masking everything that we’re afraid to admit? What if we were manipulated into liking this movie, and we’ve been blind to it all this time?

It’s time to face the awful truth: Independence Day—or ID:4 as they say in some circles—was specifically designed to make every American love it. (Lots of other people too, but Americans specifically.) Every single one, no matter how different we all claim to be. You can’t deny it.

[“Welcome to Earth.”]

Paul Weimer
1. PrinceJvstin
It knows how to push all the American buttons, and pushes them well. The movie manipulates us into liking it, despite plot holes and problems the size of one of the alien ships.

Dammit, I wish I had time to watch it today.
Chin Bawambi
2. bawambi
I detest this movie with all of my soul. It is the worst big budget movie of all time. If I wasn't with a friend it would've been the only movie I would've walked out of.
3. DavidON
Good news - "Mars Attacks" is not only funny, but it's a lot more intelligent and a better story that "Independence Day".
4. Evan H.
You know, I actually thought, after all the years I've spent on the internet, that I was fairly immune to petty insults, but to my surprise I find myself genuinely infuriated that you would say all Americans love this latrine of a movie. The apparent corrolary is that those of us who hated every single frame of it are not Americans. Just exactly how dare you?
5. Cross777
Independence Day is god awful - The American movie for the fourth is playing right now on TCM - Yankee Doodle Dandy
6. Erica W
I love this movie! (I'm watching it right now). Yeah, it has alot of plot holes, and watching it now (17 years after it was made), it doesn't look too shabby (okay, there are parts that look pretty horrible). I still remember seeing this movie as a kid and being completely obsessed.

Oh and Brent Spiner? As the doctor at Area 51? That's the best part of the movie.
Fade Manley
7. fadeaccompli
God, I loved this movie so much when it came out. My entire family walked out of there going, "That was stupid." "And so cheap on the jingoism." "And so predictable." "But SO MUCH FUN!"

And then we went and saw it a second time, because that last line really summed it up. It's so over-the-top that it becomes endearing, like some sort of bounding labrador retriever of patriotism. Not very bright, not very coherent, but full of excitement to DO THIS THING WOO. Good times.
James Hogan
8. Sonofthunder
One of my favs!! Me and my family still quote lines from this to each other all the time. So many awesome scenes, such hilarious characters. To echo fadeaccompli - SO MUCH FUN!!
Gerd K
9. Kah-thurak
Interesting enough, that it took a german to direct/produce/write the american movie. It is really not a good one though. I liked it when I was 16 years old, and thats that. Luckily america has produced a whole lot of better movies than this one.
Rob Rater
10. Quasarmodo
SNL's Bill Clinton loves this movie. Because the President's wife dies.
Tabitha Jensen
11. pabkins
Well of course some people aren't going to love it. I do love it despite its faults. In fact every year during 4th of July week I sign off on my emails with "It's time to watch Independence Day" haha.
Risha Jorgensen
12. RishaBree
In honor of this story in combination with one of last week's, I give you Coach Finstock from Teen Wolf at 18:38 to 19:33.
13. etv13
I am as American as they come (Appalachian, at that) and I hate this movie. It manages to be sappy and heartless simultaneously. Yuck.
Adam S.
14. MDNY
I spent half a year eagerly anticipating this movie, ever since they first started their teaser trailers of a huge ship orbiting earth, or hovering over the White House or Empire State Building. It just looked SO cool. Then I went to see it with my friends. And it SUCKED! One of the biggest disappointments in my moviegoing career, maybe even surpassing The Pantom Menace. And now they play it every year. Yay. We need a new July 4 action/sci fi movie to come out and replace this piece of crap.
James Whitehead
15. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Took my nephews to see this when it came out and we were all rather underwhelmed by it; in fact when one of my nephews found out that Independence Day was supposed to be their generation's 'Star Wars' said ""

It was ok but I don't ever feel the need to sit and watch it when it's on tv. I guess too much guilt and not enough pleasure for me to consider it a 'guilty pleaseure.'

Also, never saw the need for the Fourth of July to have its 'own' movie; as summer is traditionally when all the big blockbusters are released.


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