- Roland Emmerich
“That’s great! It starts with an earthquake,
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid” – REM – It’s The End Of The World (As we know it)
One of the most fundamental years for film, to me was 1996. Such films such as The Craft, Mission: Impossible and Scream were released. Of course, 1996 was also a huge year for disaster movies, with Twister headlining charts along with an instant classic by one of my favourite directors of all time, Roland Emmerich, namely Independence Day. ID was probably one of the most groundbreaking films of its time, with a terrifying premise, excellent cinematography, and great casting in the form of Will Smith, Bill Paxton and Jeff Goldblum. It grabbed me in particular because the filmmakers dared to destroy landmarks across the world so spectacularly in a setup that would reverberate throughout film history even to today. Fast forward exactly 20 years and a sequel has been released, sans one of the actors from the original, but with just as devastating a premise. Does it stack up to the original though? Let’s find out.
What’s it about?
So for those of you not in the know, Independence Day: Resurgence picks up, 20 years later, where the original film left off. Humanity has had time to rebuild after the near-extinction level event with a hive-like alien race, dubbed “The War of 1996”. Multiple cities across the globe, along with countless human lives were lost during the apparently senseless attack on Earth. Resurgence shows a completely rebuilt Earth, with mankind doing what they do best, assimilating the alien technology and incorporating it in their defense against a potential attack from the alien race in the first film. Everything they built is state of the art, from weapons to transport. The last part so much that mankind has now established forward bases on both the Earth’s Moon as well Saturn’s Moon. The latter of course (and in convenient fashion also in the lead up to 4 July aka Independence Day) gets swallowed up by the same enemy from the previous film. Only this time they have also had 20 years to prepare, arriving in a 3,000 mile (4828,032 km) mothership. Contrary to the previous film though, it will not be so easy for our heroes to take on this greater threat, despite their newly upgraded technology.
What I thought about it
Right, so bearing my introduction in mind and combining that with the fact that I avoid trailers at all costs (because I feel they tend to spoil more than tease) I entered into watching this film with a completely fresh and uninfluenced fervour. It’s not the original, by no means. There are quite a few nods to it though, which was a pleasant surprise. The movie just feels a bit spread thin though, like there are too many characters and too little focus on them. Something which the original movie did not suffer from. I liked the flow of the story enough that it did not detract too much from proceedings. The casting was great, with everyone but Will Smith’s character returning, although I must admit that the way he was unceremoniously removed from the continuity struck me as a bit odd. All in all Resurgence was a fan service more than an actual sequel with any sort of story depth, but I am keen to see if they will continue the franchise, because let’s be honest it was a decent enough film to warrant another sequel.
DVD Special Features
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Making of
What Other People Thought
As spectacular as you’d hope from a sequel to the 1996 planet-toaster, and as amusingly cheesy. You’ll enjoy yourself enough that you won’t even miss Will Smith.
Dan Jolin – Empire
Roland Emmerich’s alien invasion reboot has landed with more cliches than you can throw Shanghai at.
Wendy Ide – The Guardian
Breaks far less ground than its alien invaders, but confirms director Roland Emmerich as modern cinema’s most spirited conductor of popcorn chaos.
Guy Lodge – Variety
Side Note from Mindless Pixie: “I bet if they make a third movie it’ll be called Independence Day: Retaliation”
Side Note 2: I’m calling it, the third movie will be releasing in 2036.
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