Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
It’s been twenty years, but in Hollywood-land, that’s not too late for a sequel, especially a sequel to one of the biggest blockbusters of the 90’s. Independence Day: Resurgence sticks so close to the feel of the original that it’s sure to please die-hard fans, though the cheesy 90’s optimism may be off-putting to new fans who wanted a gritty, depressing sci-fi flick with lots of hardship and suffering. There’s none of that here.
The story: It’s been twenty years since President Whitmore, Steven Hiller, David Levinson, and Russell Casse (oh, and other people from other countries…) repelled the invasion of an unnamed alien force that very nearly wiped out all life on the planet. That victory brought the world together, ushering in an unprecedented level of world peace and unity. By reverse engineering technology found in crashed spaceships, Earth’s own technology has progressed by leaps and bounds, and they’re prepared for another invasion. But when an alien ship appears, Earth is faced with the terrifying possibility that they may not have prepared enough.
The cast is a blend of old and new, and, though I was super giddy to see Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner back together (even Will Smith makes a few cameos in picture form), I was decently impressed with the new castmembers as well. My only issue was that there wasn’t as much of a focus on character this time around, and so you don’t feel as invested in the story. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s not going to attain the iconic status of the first film. But it is worth seeing. Roland Emmerich has always been hit (Independence Day, Stargate) or miss (Godzilla, 2012), and it’s nice to see him getting back to the feel of his earlier successes.