Subscriber content preview. or Sign In
Once a prime movie holiday, the midsummer date has lost its luster
What could be more American than a typical July 4 holiday–the backyard party, the fireworks and then a big movie with lots more pyrotechnics and an engaging star? That was the tradition a decade or two ago, when Will Smith would often front a family-friendly action film. From the 1996 alien-invasion smash Independence Day through Men in Black in 1997 and its 2002 sequel up to the 2008 Hancock, the Fresh Prince was a founding father of explosive entertainment.