The writing of this film contains most of its shortcomings. It's really goofy and unbelievable. The alien invasion element is obviously pretty far-fetched, but a lot of the family dynamics are even more far-fetched to me. Most of the events that happened in the film (related to family dynamics) are extremely ridiculous when looked at in context. For example, the world is in danger of being destroyed by aliens, yet there is time for a wedding. The film is also pretty convoluted as a whole. There are way too many subplots, and while they do fall together by the end, it results in the film feeling rushed and jumpy. Regardless, the film is still very enjoyable, and manages to provide a feeling of pride for being human as opposed to just American patriotism, which is common for these type of films.
The acting of the film is pretty good, but not great. Will Smith is fine, but I remembered him being more prominent. Even though Smith is the top-billed actor, Jeff Goldblum is more likely the lead of the film. Goldblum provides some funny moments and shows some sincere emotion, but the best emotional performance in the film comes from Bill Pullman, the other of the three primary actors. My favorite performances in the film, however, came from supporting actors, such as Mary McDonnell, Randy Quaid, Harry Connick Jr., and Harvey Fierstein.
The special effects are the most impressive part of the film, however they did not hold up particularly well over the years. Some of the spaceship scenes look a bit cartoonish, however the aliens themselves still look good.
So overall, "Independence Day" is a fun movie, but definitely not a great movie. There are some pretty strong special effects, especially for the time it was released, but the script is really goofy and predictable.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: HBO.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Most likely.