Independence Day movie still
(20th Century Studios)

The Best Scene in ‘Independence Day’ Isn’t What You Think

I think we can all agree Independence Day is a near-perfect movie. This movie has it all, and by that I mean, it has aliens blowing things up, which is the only thing I ever want out of a movie, if I’m being honest.

Recommended Videos

However, in the 28 years since it’s been released (yes, I know, I feel old too when I typed that out, too) one thing has eluded this movie’s legacy, until now: By far the best scene in the film has gone unnoticed, and uncelebrated. That ends today.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I just watched this yesterday; everyone talks about and loves the scene where the Aliens blow the world up. What in the clickbait is she talking about?!” Well, friend-o, I have news for you. While blowing up the world is objectively awesome (when it’s happening on the screen, and not by Christofacists via the Republican party!) this is not the scene I’m talking about. Nor is it the scene where the government officials just start firing their guns at the alien in Area 51, which is my second favorite because it’s bonkers, completely unnecessary, and oh so very American.

No, I am of course talking about the approximately 10-second scene towards the end of the movie, when hottie scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) figures out that the alien forces could be taken out if he’s able to upload a computer virus into their system, and the American government sets out to alert the world via Morse Code. What follows is utter perfection.

Let me set the stage, not literally, because, unfortunately, my dream of Independence Day: The Musical! hasn’t come to fruition yet. In the “Iraqi Desert” (which Iraqi desert? I don’t know, one of them!), a coalition of armed forces have come together, despite the odds, to just … wait? That’s right, the militaries of multiple countries peaced out of their home turf to converge in another country’s land, and hang out until a plan comes together. Thankfully, the cowboy Americans arrive in the nick of time to tell the world what to do, and how to do it. This scene is capped with a British officer exclaiming to no one in particular: “It’s about bloody time; what do they plan to do?”

Here it is in all its glory:

This is a perfect scene in a perfect movie. First, let’s just linger on the fact the British military left England to do what they do best when the s*** hit the fan: colonize another country. Think of this as reverting to your favorite childhood meal when you had a bad day. It’s comforting. I guess one of the messages from this movie is: When the going gets rough, the British get colonizing.

Secondly, hanging out in the desert, waiting around for America to solve the problem sounds like the world’s worst group project. It’s such a ridiculous America-first view of the world that you can’t even be mad. Watching this movie as a non-American must feel like you’ve stepped into an alternate reality where chants of “USA! USA! USA!” are enough to overcome any sort of adversity. Even a world-ending invasion.

Finally, it’s capped off by a perfect line, giving America all the power. “What are they going to do?” LOL. Remember this part of the movie takes place on July 4th, you know, the actual Independence Day, so to have a British officer completely and happily give away all authority to the Americans on that day is simply delicious. I know I said this scene is perfect, but I take that back: the only thing it’s missing is if the Brits were drinking tea while waiting in the desert for the Americans to save the world. Somehow, I always picture them doing that, when I think of this scene. I guess that might have been a bridge too far in an otherwise subtle, lowkey film.

So there you have it, the best scene in the movie is a secret no more. I’m sure everyone is relieved I finally said it because, in the immortal words of Independence Day: it’s about bloody time.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.