Independence Day: Resurgence review
The 90’s were all about aliens. The X-Files, Mars Attacks, Men in Black, the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes, Space Jam, Galaxy Quest, Starship Troopers, and even Muppets in Space were all a part of the craze that was of extraterrestrial phenomenon that people all were a part of. All of this has to do with a 1996 movie called Independence Day. This wasn’t just a blockbuster; it was a game changer. It was either the third or fourth movie to take advantage of the new tool of computer special effects. Jurassic Park may have had dinosaurs, but Independence Day showed an alien invasion like no other before.
In the third grade, this movie was everywhere on posters, lunchboxes, toys, and simply of the word of mouth from every kid that phrased it for how cool it was. It was like an Irwin Allen film that managed to get a lot of big names like Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and many more. Looking back at it now, the story made little sense and the writing was campy and corny, but it’s action was impressive and it’s dumb action was fun. Twenty years later, the aliens have returned in Independence Day: Resurgence.
Since the events of the first movie, mankind has used the alien technology to change the way they live. They live in a utopia where space travel is more frequent with a moon military base, that includes Jake Morrison (played by Liam Hemsworth) and son of Will Smith’s character Dylan (played by Jessie Usher) who are the top pilots. This is run by the UN created Earth Space Defense, being directed by David Levinson (played by Jeff Goldblum) who is in Africa looking at the only ship from 1996 that landed. He doesn’t see much of his father Julies (played by Judd Hirsch), but that may change when the military starts seeing new signals.
Not only had Dr. Okun (played by Brent Spiner) has woken up from a twenty year coma seeing new visions, but former president Thomas Whitmore (played by Bill Pullman) is having those same dreams. It seems that another ship has arrived, but it’s bigger then the fifteen mile ships from the last movie. In fact, in a spectacular sequence of special effects, the new ship that comes covers the entirety of the Atlantic Ocean. Once again, the world has to join forces in order to prevent the aliens from destroying the planet.
With all the time we’ve waited for a sequel, does Independence Day: Resurgence live up to the hype? In my eyes, yes, but for most that loved the original, probably not. I’ll admit that part of me misses Will Smith who asked for too much money. The good news is that returning people like Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman keep things alright. Some of the newer cast members like Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher do alright. It’s just that some character arcs like Judd Hirsch and Maika Monroe aren’t as interesting and even seem to exist only to extend the story.
What about the action scenes. It’s clear that it’s all CGI, but director Roland Emmerich knows how to use it to the advantage of action. Unlike 2012 where it felt monotonous, here it’s better paced and even exciting. As I said, the alien ship landing is the generations “White House being blown up by aliens” scene. The writing is still campy and corny, so whether you’ll like it or not depends on your opinion of the original. I’ll admit that the worst part of the movie is the ending in which I wont give away, but it tries so hard to set up a sequel it was painful.
I’ll give this three alien ships out of five. I personally got what I wanted which was a dumb, but fun summer alien movie, but is certainly not as memorable as the original. Those that have waited years for the continuing story may find themselves feeling empty. Give your opinion a thought from the old movie, and see if Independence Day: Resurgence is your cup of tea.