Time to suit up for the mindless blockbuster. Not my favorite pastime but every now and then you just need a CGI enhanced sketchy plot infused sensory overload.
Its been 20 years since the original ‘Independence Day’ was released. Will Smith as the fighter pilot was the hero and President Whitmore (Bill Pulman) gave his impassioned speech before the big battle with the aliens “…we will not go quietly into the night” he said. That was a good movie; you could even say it became a cult classic.
I didn’t have high expectations going into this one, its always hard with a Hollywood blockbuster thinking they’ll be some meat on the bone. All I need is to be entertained.
Twenty years later Earth has moved on from the attempted Alien invasion, we have morphed their technology into our lives, peace has brought us prosperity and we’ve rebuilt the devastation. The moon has been colonized and we have weaponry orbiting the Earth incase the Aliens come back.
Returning for the sequel is President Whitmore (Bill Pulman), David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who is now the ‘Earth Space Defense’ Director, his cranky father (Judd Hirsch) and Dr Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) who was inhabited by the Aliens 20 years earlier.
Alas, Will Smith didn’t sign up for this one, which is a pity but his characters son Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher) plays the fighter pilot role alongside a down on his luck, stuck on the moon pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth).
As you may have guessed the Aliens have returned to harvest the Earth with a ship bigger (3000 miles in diameter) and better (it has its own atmosphere) whilst the captured Aliens imprisoned in ‘Area 51’ have awakened after being dormant for 20 years and are celebrating the arrival.
There are a lot of mini storylines going on here, President Whitmore’s struggles, a rift between fighter pilots Jake and Dylan, cranky father Julius flogging his book, Dr Okuns’ reawakening, a carload full of kids trying to survive the invasion and a couple of others plot points that seem pointless.
Liberal undertones abound, there is a Madam President (see Hillary), pro Refugee references and ‘we are the world’ globalism, which does kind of make sense considering its Earth vs. The Aliens.
That said the dialogue is clunky if not laughable at times, Will Smith is definitely missed and its not surprising it gets a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. They could have turned down the ‘cheese’, cut some storylines, kept the CGI flowing with one central plot revolving around 2 or 3 main characters. But alas as can be the case with these ‘Blockbuster’ movies they try to please everybody with a million different things happening at once.
Does it set its self up for a sequel; well you’ll have to watch to find out. Was I entertained? Yes, somewhat, but I left with a sense it could have been so much better, maybe i’ll try a rom com next time.
hallymustang rating 2/5