“Independence Day” was THE move that everyone was talking about in the summer of 1996. It was the year’s highest-grossing film and it dominated the box office for three weeks straight. It was an event. It was a lot like “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” (1991) or “Jurassic Park” (1993) before it — it was a sci-fi spectacle with special effects that were so groundbreaking at the time that it was a topic for conversation at parties. Did you see it? Did you see it? (The internet wasn’t quite a thing yet in 1996 for the average person; not a single person I knew chatted about movies online.)
I think it’s held up really well after 23 years, and this movie still has a dedicated fanbase. Even it special effects are still decent by modern standards. Sure, it feels a little corny. But the climactic aerial dogfight at the end still looks great and it really works for me.