Depending on how November goes, America could soon become a hole in the ground. Fortunately, this Independence Day we can keep the memory alive of the real USA: a land of constant invasion and action movies.
For non-Americans, the only way to understand Independence Day – the country’s annual fireworks and barbecue holiday – is through the magic of Hollywood. Movies made to celebrate a particular holiday or country are rarely that good, but these films actually have a lot to offer once you put on your best ironic stars n’ stripes shirt and forget that Donald Trump exists.
White House Down
Sure, the so-called “cinema audiences” might prefer that other “Whitehouse gets attacked by terrorists” movie Olympus Has Fallen and its sequel London Has Fallen (which relegates the UK to backdrop status), but White House Down truly treats the premise with the ridiculousness it deserves. Unlike some movie Presidents, Jamie Foxx’s not-Obama delves right into the action, blowing terrorists apart while prancing around in his Air Jordans. Now that’s America.
Also known as “the last decent Rocky film”, Rocky IV puts a boxing Sylvester Stallone in charge of US foreign policy. After all-American Apollo Creed gets killed in the ring by a ‘roided up Ivan Drago, Rocky decides to cross the Iron Curtain to kick the guy’s ass. The film ends as Rocky slurs a message of peace and democracy at the assembled Soviet audience and singlehandedly ends the Cold War (Reagan and Gorbachev may have helped too).
Team America: World Police
From the creators of South Park, Team America is the greatest satire of the War on Terror ever made. In a world dominated by the Bush Administration and illegal invasions, this psychotic Thunderbirds was exactly what the world needed. Not only is the film hilarious, but the theme song itself has become an ironic national anthem for the USA. Here’s to taking patriotism down a peg.
No, I don’t mean the North Korean remake starring Thor. The original Red Dawn directed by John Milius is undoubtedly Reagan-era propaganda, but it’s also not too bad a movie. Patrick Swayze and his small-town American friends see their schoolyard invaded by parachuting Communists. It’s not all fun and games; the kids aren’t invincible, and the Cuban commander is actually sympathetic.
Special Mention: Independence Day
Of course it had to be in this article. In a clever example of marketing, Roland Emmerich ensured his alien invasion movie would forever be associated with an American holiday. Its sequel may leave something to be desired, but the original is still great for a laugh and an Oscar-winning turn from Will “Welcome to Earth” Smith.