Topic: Independence Day: Resurgence (spoilers)
The original Independence Day is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. I know it's dumb and Amer-centric and overly patriotic dribble. But it was one of the first gigantic post-apocalyptic movies I ever saw, and it captivated me. For (probably too many) years, I had an ID4 poster hanging in my room of one of the giant ships hovering over a beautiful vista of NYC. And in the infancy of the Internet, I kept hearing rumors of a sequel. And then 9/11 happened and, depending on your source, that either killed any chance of an ID4 sequel or reignited it.
For the most part, I was sorta glad that they didn't make a sequel. After watching disappointing sequels to some of my favorite 90s movies, I liked that Independence Day sorta survived on its own.
But when the sequel happened, I was still excited. When Will Smith decided not to return (but basically everyone else did), I actually sorta saw that as a good thing. Will Smith is a much bigger star than he was, even in the 90s, and I didn't think the movie needed to have an overwhelming presence like him.
I saw it tonight, and I wanted to talk about it for a little bit.
I knew it was going to be bad. Not bad in an After Earth sort of way - but bad in the same way that the original was bad. But I really liked the way they were coming at it, and as long as it was bad and fun, I was going to be okay.
It's funny - my first thought is how cool it was to revisit the world. At the same time, I think the beginning was a little too much. I would've loved to have seen an hour-long (or more) documentary about how the world changed since 1996, but the fact that we had to go around the world, catching up, was a bit much. But we get to see a world that's technologically advanced and peaceful. Some of the stuff that's hinted at (including a ground war with aliens in Africa) would've made a pretty spectacular movie in itself, and I found myself sorta hoping to see the Earth defense work against something else before it's obliterated by the aliens.
One thing I liked was that it definitely felt like a sequel. Every returning character immediately steps back into the role perfectly without a beat. There's weariness (especially with President Whitmore), but it's all very familiar. And the next generation (including the children seen in ID4) work pretty well.
Another thing I liked was that it wasn't a retread. I was really worried it was going to be a remake of the original. The aliens show back up, tear stuff up, and we have to rally around and defeat them again. And while that's kinda what happened, we get to see a new side of the aliens. There's much more ground war with them. The first one was more about air battles against a mostly-faceless group. Here we get more hand-to-hand and a closer look at the aliens.
That being said, I didn't really think there was much to it. The aliens come in, blow passed the defenses, wipe out the government, and then it's just a race against the clock. There's no extermination. There's one attack on the mother ship, and then it's a race to Area 51. There's the new stuff inside the mother ship, but I think it's a consequence of having to catch up so much on what's happened in the last 20 years. I checked my phone a few times to see the clock because I was surprised by what little had actually happened at certain times.
And again, it was sorta disappointing to see how quickly our defenses failed. There's talk of defenses at Saturn but we don't see it. The moon laser disables the "orb" but is completely useless against the new ship. The orbital defense is destroyed before it can do anything. I know the whole point is to show how unprepared the Earth actually is, but it would've been nice to have seen it work before we see it fail.
And while I really thought the "enemy" species and the "resistance" was a cool concept setting up potential sequels, I thought the whole Queen thing was a bit ridiculous. Making her that big made me feel like I was watching a completely different movie, and it was really weird. Making them a hive is one thing, and making the Queen a force to be reckoned with is another. But to basically make her a kaiju was a bizarre choice in my opinion.
All in all, I thought it was okay. Nothing special or spectacular. It was fun to see the world, but the plot was pretty weak overall.
Has anyone else seen it?