Independence Day: Resurgence
For the sake of disclosure, somewhere or other I have what’s left of an F/A-18 model kit that was released during the original film. Yeah. 20 years ago wasn’t that long for me.
Nor, it turns out, was 20 years all that long for the people in the film. It’s true that the alien invasion has been repulsed, barring pockets of resistance that were being fought by such people as warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei). But aside from this, there has been no war on the planet, as the various world powers have devoted this time to reverse-engineering what alien technology they could salvage in order to prepare in case the aliens return… and return they shall, as the SOS sent out by the invasion fleet before it was defeated has finally reached the main alien fleet, and so a massive task force has been sent out in response. And quite simply, they’re not playing around.
A number of individuals who had close contact with the aliens – like Umbutu, former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), and Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) – have recently been receiving visions and messages letting them know that something is coming. They reach such key figures as Dr. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), who are able to reach out to rank-and-file individuals like military pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and co-pilot Charlie Ritter (Travis Tope), but nobody important is willing to listen until after Earth’s garrison near Saturn is destroyed. And even then, a show of force early in the film leads people to believe that the threat is over until the full task force arrives over the Lunar garrison. The entire facility is quickly wiped out, leaving only four pilots – Jake; Charlie; Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher), the son of the late Steven Hiller; and Rain Lao (Angelababy), the niece of the garrison’s commander – alive out of the entire crew.
Earth seemingly gets a chance to hit back when the massive alien flagship anchors itself to the planet, as the aliens appear more focused on the initiation of mining operations than continuing the attack. But the aliens are far smarter than they look, such that they were merely waiting for the Earth forces to get in close before unleashing the ship’s point defense weapons. The whole thing turns into such a catastrophe that only a handful of pilots return to base and the four from Luna are regarded as “missing, presumed killed”. With most of the air force destroyed, there is little to stop the aliens from slaughtering everyone at Cheyenne Mountain, effectively decapitating the US government.
As desperate as the situation is, Levinson still has a plan. But if it fails, there won’t be time to put together another one…
To be brutally honest, the film is so reliant on clichés and tropes that I was able to tell what was going to happen simply by looking at my watch to get the “mark” and then comparing it to the overall run time of the movie. The film also doesn’t directly address how Will Smith’s character from the first movie died; we’re just told that the character is dead and left at that. Yes, it does deliver a lot of action and comedy in turn, but this is a number where you *have to* turn your mind off to enjoy it instead of simply allowing yourself to do so. And do I even need to mention that the film is likely going to be too violent for younger viewers?
Total: 6 / 10
Run Time: 120 minutes