1996, the earth came under attack from aliens, in the HUGE box office hit, Independence Day (also known as ID4) from Roland Emmerich & Dean Devlin, reteaming after their huge hit, Stargate.
Whilst Stargate would go on to spin off into a hugely popular TV series, it was surprising that ID4 never got a sequel, after all, it was a huge box office success, making some $800m from its $75m budget.
Now 20 years on, with a rise in nostalgia, that sequel Independence Day: Resurgence opens in cinemas on 23rd June, so when the original appeared on our TV screens this weekend, we felt it would be a good chance to refresh our memories.
Sadly, the film has not dated well, the CGI certainly looks outdated to modern day blockbusters, the FX and miniature work, that was groundbreaking at the time (even winning the best visual effects Oscar) now looks dated.
However, for us, the issue is it is just far too long, coming in at just under 2 and a half hours (the sequel is under 2 hours)
There is a lot to like about the film, Jeff Goldblum (no stranger to the summer blockbuster, having appeared in Jurassic Park) is great as David Levinson, a former scientist now working as a cable technician, following the break-up with his wife, Constance (played by Margaret Colin) the chief of communications at the white house, after he believed she was getting too close to her boss President Whitmore (
Constance is the chief of communications at the white house, and it appears their break-up maybe because David believed she was spending too much time with her boss President Whitmore (Bill Pullman)
David works out that when unidentified flying objects are using the Earth satellite networks to communicate and invade, with the help of his father, Julius (Judd Hirsch) who he needs to drive him to the white house!
Using his connections, he gets the message to all concerned, so they can escape on Air Force One before the films big iconic moment, the Aliens opening fire on the White House and destroying it, as well as other big landmarks.
We follow the US attack on the aliens through Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) who wants to help, to keep his partner, Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) & Dylan (Ross Bagley) her young son. As well as their dog, Boomer, who only just survives a huge fireball!
Following the alien attacks, Jasmine, and her son meet up with the first lady (Mary McDonnell) and other survivors as they wait to be rescued.
Following an ineffective first attack on the aliens, Hiller does manage to take one of the spaceships down, capturing its pilot and taking it to Area 51. These are some of the best moments of the film, including a great turn from Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation) as a mad scientist.
We also follow Russell Casse (Randy Quaid), a former Vietnam pilot, and now alcoholic crop duster pilot. He claims to have been abducted by aliens 10 years prior to this attack, yet we found his story could have been removed, but seems to be only in the film to help with its ending.
We felt the film really did drag along in place, and the rousing speech from President Whitmore did come across as a bit corny. In fact, the film does feel a lot like something out of the Eighties.
Despite all this, some effective marketing got us thinking the sequel will be worth seeing. Once again Emmerich directs, and with Devlin and 3 others writes the screenplay.
We know that the special effects have moved on, and we know the Director knows how to use them, as his big disaster films have kept coming since ID4, with Godzilla; The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.
We know that Goldblum, along with Hirsch will return as father and son, in the sequel along with Pullman as the President, however, Will Smith will not be returning.
The film will follow instead on Dylan (to be played by Jessie T. Usher) who is following in Hiller’s footsteps after he died, and Fox will return as Jasmine.
We also know that Whitmore’s daughter Patricia will be involved in the new fight with the aliens too (she will be played by Maika Monroe) alongside side her boyfriend Jake (Liam Hemsworth)
We are also pleased to see Brent Spiner will return as well. Pepper has her paws crossed that Boomer the dog will return too.
With advances in CGI, we think this could be a rare improvement on the original, but we will wait and see. The film will also be released in 3D and IMAX.
It would be great to see more of the Aliens this time round, rather than an effects heavy film. The makers are certainly hoping for a big hit as Independence Day 3 has already been announced.
Will you be seeing the ID4 sequel? Do you think it will cope without Will Smith? What is your favourite Earth under attack from Aliens film? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films!
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