Independence Day: Resurgence

03/10/2017 16:50

Film: Independence Day: Resurgence

Year: 2016

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman



This film takes place 20 years after the original one took place. It starts off inside an alien mothership. It looks like something on its interface screen and then we get a glimpse of her eye as she blinks.

We are the on Earth where we see that the former president, played by Bill Pullman, is having trouble sleeping and looks rough. He has drawn a circle with a line part of the way through it on multiple sheets of paper.

The world has come together since the War of 1996. We have used the technology that the aliens left behind and meshed it with our own. There is the Earth Space Defense program has been created from this so there are bases on Europa, a moon of Jupiter, as well as our Moon. It is agreed that the aliens would be back to try to defeat us again.

On the Moon there is a pilot played by Liam Hemsworth. His best friend up there is also a pilot played by Travis Tope. They are helping put in a new weapon, but there is an error. It is falling back toward the base and they are commanded by Chin Han to flee. Hemsworth defies the orders and rights the weapon before it crushes everyone inside. He is then grounded from flying as he takes the fall for what Tope did. He does it with a smile and a joke as well.

The new president is played by Sela Ward. She meets with Jessie T. Usher, who is playing the little boy from the previous film and is the son of Will Smith’s character. Usher is there because he is going up to the Moon for a celebration of the War of 1996. He is going to represent his father who has passed away. While there he meets with Maika Monroe. She is the daughter of Pullman and a former pilot herself. She is friends with Usher and they catch up. She is also engaged to Hemsworth who was best friends with Usher, but they’ve had a falling out due to an error made during training and Usher is mad at Hemsworth.

Jeff Goldblum is back in this film and he is leading a U.N. mission to a country in Africa. This country is the only place in the world where the aliens actually landed and there was a ground battle. The leader of the insurgents is played by Deobia Oparei. His father wouldn’t allow anyone in to see the see the alien ship, but Oparei has allowed Goldblum and his team. Also there is a psychologist played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. She is studying Oparei who has a connection with the aliens, much like Pullman. They have visions due to the connection before the aliens were defeated. Also part of this team is Nicolas Wright.

Brent Spiner is back as the alien expert and he has been in a coma since the events of the previous film. He wakes up when John Storey is visiting him. He has the same connection that Pullman and Oparei have. He draws on his walls in the alien language, but he doesn’t remember doing it. He also can’t decipher what it means.

Usher is joined by Angelababy as one of the pilots that goes up to the moon. Tope falls for her immediately and it turns out that her father is Han. Usher punches Hemsworth and he covers when Han asks what happened. They celebration starts, but while it does there is something that is happening. A general played by William Fichtner and the Secretary of Defense played by Patrick St. Espirt learn that the base on Europa is destroyed. An alien ship appears by the moon and it is shot down. The celebration comes to an end.

Hemsworth commandeers a ship and flies to Earth. He picks up Goldblum, Gainsbourg, Oparei and Wright. They go into space to investigate the wreckage. As they do the mothership appears, turning off its cloaking device. It destroys the defense of the base on the moon and then lands on Earth.

A mission is set-up with Usher leading it. Hemsworth and Tope are part of it to kill this new threat, but can they succeed? What is the ship that they shot down and brought to Earth? Oparei has learned some of their language and the weird circle might mean ‘Enemy’. Does this mean that ship is actually an ally of us? Can this new threat be defeated before it succeeds in its plan of destroying Earth, taking its core and killing us?

I want to lead off stating that I loved the original when it came out and still think that it is a fine film. I did like parts of this one as well. The first thing I wanted to touch on is that I love that we took the left over alien technology and then meshed it with our own to prepare if they ever came back. It is great to see that despite this, it still lacks in comparison to this new threat. I think it is important for a film like this to make the audience feel like we don’t have a chance so it can be uplifting at the climax. The battle scenes in this one are good. The visual effects look great and that was something the original one did very well also. I personally liked that they brought back a lot of same characters as well as introducing new ones. Since there was twenty years between films, I’m not bothered that they elected to replace some of the children in the first film with new actors/actresses either. That is something I can be a stickler on, but not in this case. The acting was decent, but with a film like this, it doesn’t have to be great. The visual effects and story are what carry a film like this.

This film did come with some issues though. The first issue that I noticed was supposedly Spiner was in a coma for 20 years and wakes up. He wouldn’t be able to get up and walk as his muscles would be completely destroyed from being out that long. I also don’t think he could talk as his vocal cords haven’t been used in so long, but gets up like nothing happened. I don’t feel this film built enough tension or the fear that the original did. It is interesting that this film is shorter than the original, but it felt just as long. The film did an okay job at continuing the story, but just didn’t have the same feel as the original. I do think part of that is we don’t get introduced to the new characters enough and everything just happens so fast for a film of this length. I didn’t connect or feel nearly as much as I did for this one.

I am adding this film to the horror film research as this is technically a sequel to a version of War of the Worlds. This is scary in that we are facing an alien that is coming to eradicate us a race and destroy our planet for their own gain. Facing the end of the world is one of the most terrifying things in this world.

Now with that said, I don’t think this film is horrible, but it is not as good as the original. The acting isn’t bad and the story does some good things. The film itself just feels forced and I’m wondering if it does because of the amount of characters competing for screen time. This film is also setting up for the next sequel, which I didn’t mind, because this film has its own story that can be watched as a single film. If you liked the original I would recommend seeing this one to continue the story. It is not better than the previous one, but still enjoyable.


My Rating: 6 out of 10