20 years later we received a sequel to a movie that we really never asked for but glad we received. Independence Day: Resurgence opened in theaters today, June 24th and received a 42% on the tomatometer. Sequels rarely surpass the original (Original rating a 61%) but this sequel did a nice attempt at trying to recreate the original magic but still providing a new plot line.
We all have a guilty pleasure movie that we absolutely have to watch when it comes on tv and for me its Independence Day (and Day After Tomorrow, San Andreas, 2012 and Volcano. Pretty much any disaster movie is my guilty pleasure). When I heard they were making a sequel the Independence Day, I knew where I was going to be on June 24th.
The story takes place in real time, which would be 20 years in the future after the original but it is a very different present that what we have today. We are introduced to a world that has taken advantage of its past attack and used the alien technology to advance themselves. Not only have they used it to advance their flight and speed of travel but they have used it as defense weapons, just in case another space invader returns. With space defense bases on the Moon, Mars, Rhea (Saturn’s moon), and Area 51 as headquarters, the world has created a new Earth early defense system.
We are reintroduced to Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson in Africa where we are introduced to new characters, Dr. Catherine Marceaux and warlord Dikembe Umbutu. We learn that any person who came into any physical contact with the aliens had a psychic connection with them and all had a vision of one symbol.
We are also reintroduced to Bill Pullman’s character, President Whitmore and his daughter Patricia when we see that President Whitmore receives psychic visions. Patricia went to flight school with Will Smith’s character’s son Dylan Hiller and a new character Jake Morrison, played by Liam Hemsworth. Both Dylan and Jake are on the moon when an alien ship approaches the Moon. The Earth, thinking it is another attack, shoots down the ship before it gets a chance at contact. David disagreed with the attack stating that this ship was not the same as the ones from the last attack. He calls Jake to pick him up and bring him to the moon to investigate the crash. While they are on the moon, the aliens from the original movie come and attack the Moon base and then heads to the Earth.
The movie follows the same methods of any alien invasion movie but the emotional connections seemed forced. Dr. Okun was brought back from the original and we are introduced to a friendship between him and Dr. Isaacs, who I don’t remember from the first movie but we are led to believe that it is a long standing friendship. Later on, a bad thing happens to one of them so we need to feel empathetic towards them but honestly the whole time, I’m trying to remember if he was in the first movie.
The star and the main reason for success of the first movie was Will Smith so the concern for this movie was who was going to be that factor. I assumed it would be Jessie Usher, who played Will Smith’s character’s son since he is an unknown actor and he “grew up” with Steven Hiller but that wasn’t the case. They decided to go with Liam Hemsworth and I don’t think that was a good decision. They tried to write funny dialogue to mimic Will Smith but it was obvious that Hemsworth was trying to perform the lines instead of it coming naturally like it did with Smith.
The visuals for the movie were impressive and if you have a choice, always see it in IMAX. The 3D wasn’t distracting like it can be with most films and the soundtrack was immersive. This isn’t supposed to be serious cinema but I do suggest a watch for mindless action and destruction.