In 1996, aliens came to conquer Earth in a big blockbuster known as Independence Day. We may have kicked alien butt, but twenty years later, they’re back and they’re bigger in the sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.
Here’s the spoiler-free review: If you liked the original Independence Day, you’re going to like this one. If you didn’t, this film has nothing new that will win you over.
Continue scrolling for the review with possible spoilers…
So in the original Independence Day, the Earth was invaded by aliens that wanted to eradicate the human race. That didn’t sit well with the U.S. President and the military, who joined up with a couple of scientists in a last ditch effort to save the world.
*SPOILER ALERT* It worked. The aliens got their butts kicked and fled the galaxy. We took what alien technology we could, and used it to advance our civilization. We now have spaceships, and even a colony on the moon.
Unfortunately, twenty years after the great battle, the moon base picks up weird signals, not to mention some of the dormant alien ships on Earth have suddenly turned on. The kicker is Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner), who has been in a coma since his close encounter with the captive alien twenty years earlier, suddenly wakes up. He, like others, begin to draw weird circular symbols.
On the other side of the planet, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is meeting with an African Warlord (Deobia Oparei) and another scientist Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) to investigate a huge hole the original invasion drilled into the planet.
Meanwhile, on the moon base, rakish young cadet Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and his friend Charlie Miller (Travis Tope) are joined by some other young pilots, including Rain Lao (Angelababy), the niece of the moon base commander, and Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), who was the little son of Will Smith’s character in the original movie. Smith declined to be in this movie, and his character gets a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” explanation of what happened to him.
Anyways, Dylan and Jake are former friends who now don’t like each other, but they’re also both friends of the now-grown Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), daughter of former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman). Twenty years after the first invasion, the prior POTUS is a madman of sorts with a crazy beard, who suddenly realizes those strange signals are the aliens coming back.
Do we have enough characters? No? Ok, so then the current POTUS Lanford (Sela Ward) is suddenly on the hot seat when an alien is spotted on the far side of the moon. She gives the order to shoot it down with their laser defense system, despite Levinson’s insistence they check to see if this alien is friendly.
Score one for Levinson, because he was right, but it’s too late because now the really bad aliens have come back, and they have a very huge ship. Waaaayyy bigger than the last.
And the rest of the film is all battle and destruction for the most part, but that’s what you expect from a Roland Emmerich movie. And boy does he deliver. The battle scenes are bigger, but seem to have a similarity in scope and setting to the original movie. In fact a lot of the film feels familiar.
I can’t tell you who wins or how it happens – c’mon, there needs to be some mystery to the plot, right? But I will say it involves a bus full of kids and Levinson’s dad (Judd Hirsch), whom I’m sure you remember from the first movie.
This movie does the special effects well, though a few of the boat scenes were definitely overdone, and the battle scenes were visually pleasing. It’s the dialogue that hurts the film, with overly cheesy lines and cliches we’ve heard before. I was also disappointed in the way all the women were secondary characters, and many ended up getting killed before the film ended.
If you can shut your mind off and just enjoy the spectacle of the movie, then I would recommend seeing Independence Day: Resurgence in the theaters, and even splurging on the 3D. It’s a fun summer movie. Nothing more, nothing less.
And I have to say the way they set up another sequel is VERY intriguing. But if it happens, I want women better represented.
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Independence Day: Resurgence
Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Nicolas Wright & James A. Woods and Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt
Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Jessie Usher, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy
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