We recently wrote that we revisited Independence Day ahead of this week’s visit to see its long-awaited sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. So was it worth the 20-year wait?
The quick answer is No, not really. This film has a lot of good ideas but is just a bit boring, to be honest.
The film establishes earlier on that the Will Smith character died in an accident, testing new alien technology. With this film set 20 years after the events of the original, we learn that earth is now almost rebuilt, having used the new advances discovered from the destroyed alien spacecraft. These are early signs that the use of FX and miniatures from the first film are now all CGI!
The story is set up using characters from the original, President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is having recurring bad dreams of the alien events and seeing a strange circular symbol.
David (Jeff Goldblum) has met up with Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and a warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei). The reason for meeting up with these two is one of the grounded spacecraft has now awakened and sending out a beacon. So it would appear we did not kill all the creatures in the last war on Independence Day.
Catherine is also following up on a symbol she has been seeing everywhere, the same symbol that Whitmore has been seeing in his bad dreams. A circle with a line through the middle.
We also then meet the younger cast members, Patricia, daughter of President Whitmore (Played by Maika Monroe) who is now working with the new president, Lanford (Sela Ward).
She is great friends with Dylan (Jessie T. Usher) son of Steven (the Will Smith character from the original) who is a pilot in the ESD (Earth Space Defence)
Dylan has advanced well in the ESD, but we also follow Patricia’s partner, Jake (Liam Hemsworth) who after making some bad decisions, is now working on the moon, driving space tugs on defense headquarters.
It is Jake, who learns that a new spacecraft has entered the earth’s atmosphere. Stealing a space tug he goes to collect David, Catherine, Dikembe and Floyd (Nicolas Wright), who had been sent to get David to decipher codes the ESD had been receiving
President Lanford orders the new spacecraft to be shot down, against the advice of David. Needless to say, David was right, as we learn this contains the spherical globe, which is the circular image,that has been seen in Whitmore’s dreams etc..
It is an enemy of the aliens that have attacked before, and they have now followed back into the earth’s atmosphere.
Needless to say, the Aliens attack again, destroying iconic landmarks, including London, the problem is you may have seen most of it in the trailers and also being all CGI it is just dull, nothing as iconic as the destroying of the white house special effects in the original.
The CGI just makes this film feel like you are watching a video game at times, and it goes from one green screen sequence to another, Dylan and pilots attack the mothership and lose.
They get inside the spacecraft and inside have a mini version of Aliens as they battle with the invaders. On earth, it goes from one destruction to another, bringing other characters from the original, such as Jasmine Hiller (Vivica A. Fox) and Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch)
We then see Aliens attack Area 51, from soldiers to the larger mother creature, one of our issues with the original was we didn’t see them enough, yet in this one, they are just CGI and dull. They certainly are not comparable to those of the Alien franchise for example, which is a shame as their design in the original was something exciting.
Like the first film, the ending seems far too simple, the spherical droid is dull, not even another alien species. We also do not understand why Dylan is not the lead character, the Jake character is just a friend, yet they couldn’t even tie him to the Randy Quaid character of the original.
There are some positives, the Floyd character and Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner) returning character offer some much-needed humour, in a film that feels that it is taking itself far too seriously, the original worked by making you feel it was a film of an earlier time. We liked seeing inside the alien craft and at least the film didn’t drag.
With the teaming up with the droid, both races believe they can now take the battle to the aliens so a 3rd installment would appear to be already on the cards, so we can only hope for a much better improvement, but we certainly won’t get our hopes up.
This is your typical big box office film with no substance, we found it Ok but it did not wow us and is instantly forgettable, a real disappointment for us. You can see this film in IMAX and 3D as well
Did you enjoy this sequel? Would you want an Independence Day 3? What are your favourite Alien films, we would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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