Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much of the original cast. (The record may go to the 32 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.) But clearly filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have long wanted to follow up their 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day. The result is a big, fast sci-fi action thriller that lacks both the original movie's enjoyably raucous tone and its break-out star Will Smith.
After the events of 20 years ago, America has taken alien technology to heart, improving transportation and military defence, including creating a base on the moon to keep an eye out for returning tentacled baddies. Then an orb-shape ship appears, followed by a new mothership so large that it spans the entire Atlantic Ocean. President Lanford (Sela Ward) turns to the surviving heroes of the previous invasion for help: scientific expert David (Jeff Goldblum), former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and mad genius Brakish (Brent Spiner). Meanwhile, a young team of next-generation pilots dives into the fray, including Dylan (Jesse T. Usher playing Will Smith's now-grown son), Jake (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia (Maika Monroe as Whitmore's daughter and Jake's fiancee) and Charlie (Travis Tope).
The film is assembled in standard disaster movie style, quickly introducing characters and their personal little melodramas before throwing them into the mad chaos of this new invasion. Emmerich is an expert at this structure, using it to hugely entertaining effect from Independence Day to Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2014 and White House Down. So it's odd that this film feels so lifeless by comparison. The story rushes past at a breathless pace that never allows the characters or events to gain any real traction with the audience. The only sharp wit on hand this time comes from throwaway one-liners apparently improvised by Goldblum. And the action feels eerily derivative, rehashed from Emmerich's filmography with added elements from Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.
Continue reading: Independence Day: Resurgence Review
Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at the forefront of the last Alien invasion. Since that last fateful day, Levinson has worked tirelessly to protect the world and strengthen it from alien attacks, even using the technology they discovered on board the alien spaceship to counter their possible attack methods.
When the people of Earth learn that Aliens are on their way back to our planet, there's automatic hysteria and a hope that the newly installed space defences will help counter the attack. Whatever stringent plans David develops he, more than anyone, realises that it will probably not be enough to protect us.
Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original movie and sees many of the cast taking up the same role again. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich (known for The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and the first Independence Day movie.)
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