Independence Day: Resurgence
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Angelababy.
Independence Day is one of my favourite movies. It’s just such a fun film. But did it need a sequel? It seemed like a nice, self-contained story. But I didn’t care. A return to that world, I felt, would be pretty cool. I expected the film to be this year’s Jurassic World: just one big 1990s nostalgia trip. The first film was my birthday movie 20 years ago…it just made sense that it should be my birthday movie this year.
It’s been 20 years since the War of 1996 (the in-universe name for the events of the first film). The planet is united like never before. By reverse-engineering the alien technology from the first film, the Earth Space Defense force stays on constant patrol for other extraterrestrial threats. But, it’s soon discovered that the aliens managed to send out a distress signal in their dying gasp. And now, the Queen Alien has shown up, to finish what the first invasion force started. Can the world cry out in one voice once again that we will not go quietly into the night…that we won’t vanish without a fight…we’re going to live on…we’re going to survive…will we celebrate out Independence Day again?
What I Liked
It’s fun seeing the world of the aliens expanded. We go inside the ships. We get a better look at what their society is like. We get tantalizing hints of the resulting ground war against the surviving aliens. We meet other aliens. There’s some great world-building going on. And Jeff Goldblum is at his Goldblum best.
What I Didn’t Like
Well…the first film, we had moments to breath and get to know the characters. This film moves so fast we barely get to know the new characters and how they fit into the narrative. Rather then revel in the nostalgia, like in Jurassic World, it’s more like they just simply go down a checklist of moments from the original film to re-visit and re-interpret. And David Arnold’s score is sorely missed.
In the end, this reminds me of the recent remakes of Total Recall and RoboCop…it’s fun, but it’s a little too slick and a little too polished. I like it, but the original had a touch more…seasoning.