Who could ever forget the day Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saved the world, saddling up in an UFO and puffing on cigars as they flew into a mothership, blew the fucker to smithereens, and soared away in the nick of time? In the eyes of those who’ve watched the film Independence Day, the two action stars became patriots. In fact, they are so beloved by their fellow countrymen that diehard fans have gotten tattoo tributes to Goldblum and Smith, albeit none of the portraits are from the movie. It’s the thought that counts, though, when it comes to celebrating freedom, military-grade weaponry, and exterminating aliens with extreme prejudice — aka the American way.
For those who missed out on the exhilarating experience that is watching Independence Day, it tells the story of an end-of-days scenario in which every major metropolitan area on the planet is destroyed during a relentless alien invasion. With humanity on the ropes, the remaining survivors of our species band together to defeat the space invaders, sending the world’s last hope — Jeff motherfucking Goldblum and Willard Carroll Smith Jr. — to take down the extraterrestrials’ central command. Regardless of mixed reviews, it was the highest grossing film of 1996. Its widespread popularity with American audiences points to the resilient spirit that courses through the country’s red, white, and blue veins.
The fact that there are not any tattoo portraits of Goldblum and Smith in their roles from Independence Day doesn’t really matter, considering that they pretty much play the same character in all their movies. That’s right, David Levinson is essentially Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park just like Captain Steve Hiller is Agent J from Men and Black (they both hunt down aliens, after all). Having a tattoo of Smith or Goldblum, regardless of the role it’s based on, tells everyone you’re a freedom fighter. Portraits of these cultural icons suggest that — to quote President Whitmore’s rather ethnocentric “every man’s” speech — the Fourth of July is not just an American holiday, but a day the world declares in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night!
To see more tattoo tributes to celebrities, make sure to follow all of these artists on Instagram. Once your done blowing shit up this 4th of July, go watch Independence Day, or better yet, get a portrait of Goldblum or Smith from their roles in the film.