20th Century Fox
We always knew they were coming back. After ‘Independence Day’ redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Independence Day is one of my Top 10 Favorite Sci-Fi B Movies. When it came out back in 1996, I watched it at least three times in the theater. I’ve owned it both on VHS and DVD, and if it’s playing on a television channel while I’m bored surfing channels, there it will stay until the end, no matter at what part of the movie it’s at. It’s one of those blockbusters that benefited from a rare combination of a simple yet engaging story, a dynamic cast, and some impressive blow-em-up effects. In short, I absolutely adore Independence Day. Or, ID4, if you will.
That said, I also will not hesitate to say that a sequel was really unnecessary. Given the success of the original movie, a sequel was pretty much expected, but for a while it just didn’t seem to happen. And I wouldn’t have complained. Really, the story for the first movie was self-contained and satisfying in and of itself. No need to continue on, as this was a one-and-done situation. But then, here we are, twenty years after the fact, and a sequel comes out of nowhere, invading the unsuspecting populace who have been lax in our vigilance and attacking.
There’s a metaphor in here, somewhere.
But, I’m not here to philosophize about possible hidden metaphors inside a sequel to a Sci-Fi B Movie from the mid-1990s. It’ll give me a migraine headache using all them big college-soundin’ words and all. No, I’m here to give my long-awaited thoughts on a movie that was released at the beginning of the summer blockbuster season of 2016. And here it is:
Independence Day: Resurgence was definitely a movie. It had a beginning, a middle and an end. It continue twenty years after the events in the first Independence Day (that, too, was a movie), where the entire planet has been more-or-less united and have some kick-butt backward engineered alien fightin’ weapons just in case the aliens come back because of last time. Which, they do, but not before an intergalactic Siri shows up in the moon to be greeted by one of our super laser cannons. Then the bigger-than-the-last-ship mothership shows up, with a pissed off Queen alien, and wastes no time smacking down our own defenses and clamps down onto the Atlantic Ocean to begin laser drilling to get to the chewy nugat center of our planet. And since Will Smith’s character died before this movie, the only hope lies in Will Smith’s character’s son, what’s-his-face, and a bunch of ruff-n-ready fighter pilots whose names I don’t remember and I don’t care enough to look them up. Then Jeff Goldblum is brought in to make it all worth watching (it works), then the wacky scientist who looks like Data from Star Trek TNG wakes up from the coma he was in from mind-melding with the alien (totally not dying, which would have made much more sense), wanders around with his butt hanging out, his legs completely fine and not at all problematic having been IN A COMA FOR TWENTY YEARS, and wastes no time trying to figure out the mysteries of Intergalactic Siri; then the former president from the first film does something noble and heroic, the band of forgettable young fighter pilots reenact the best part of the first movie, things go boom, then Wacky Scientist says something that made me groan loudly, setting up another sequel. The End.
As you could probably surmise by my little exorcise in run-on sentence writing, I didn’t exactly think of Independence Day: Resurgence to be a mind-blowingly entertaining big budget Sci-Fi spectacle. It was entertaining, yes, but mind-blowing? No. Not like I found the first movie. Independence Day: Resurgence is what you would call a glorified rehash of the first movie, only several years in the future and shiny new gadgets and stuff. Okay, sure, the world is mostly united (the small African country being a holdout), but that aside, we all know things are about to go boom. And boom, they go indeed.
Is this an entertaining movie? Yes. Greatly so. Is it a good movie? Yes, in that it is what it is. Meaning, it’s a Sci-Fi B Movie. Does it up the ante? Yeah, yeah it does. Is it as good as or better than the original Independence Day? No. It’s not. But, I will recommend watching Resurgence at least once. However, unlike the original ID4, which I will drop everything and rewatch whenever it comes on, I really don’t see watching ID4:R again on my own volition.