The 1996 Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum alien invasion film reveals new themes on its silver anniversary.
It’s been 25 years since the first time I ever bought advanced tickets to see a movie.
I know this because that movie was Independence Day, and it opened 25 years ago this week. After seeing its unforgettable Super Bowl commercial, I immediately became obsessed with the movie and knew I had to see it as soon as possible.
So on July 2, 1996, I walked into the theater optimistic I was going to see something special and the film delivered. In the 25 years since that day, I’ve probably seen it 25 times. Not only has it become my go-to film to watch over the U.S. holiday weekend, anytime it’s on TV, I have to keep it on. It’s funny, exciting, massive, I loved it. I still do, mainly because watching it brings me back to being that geeky teenager seeing an amazing movie on its opening night.
Since July 2, 1996, that’s basically all Independence Day has been to me: an entertaining dose of nostalgia. But revisiting it last week in anticipation of its 25th anniversary I realized it’s so much more. It plays differently with a few decades of life experience under your belt and as much as I adored it in 1996, I may love it even more in 2021.