We have this belief that sequels are bad and wouldn’t live up to its predecessors’ reputations, no matter how wonderful the cast or directing team is.
With “Independence Day: Resurgence” out in theatres, most would walk into the cinema expecting a terrible movie experience but still watch the movie for nostalgia’s sake.
Well, you won’t be disappointed. Not this time.
In “Independence Day: Resurgence”, it’s been 20 years since the initial attack of the aliens, and Earth have seen peace. Although humankind was nearly obliterated, the attack had an unexpected but welcoming effect, as countries put aside their differences in order to create an unprecedented cooperation amongst the nations of the world. Centuries-old conflicts and political distrust dissolved as humankind work hand-in-hand to mold Alien technology into shields and weapons to protect Earth from future attacks.
However, as mankind settles into a complacent phase, the aliens attack once again. With a deeper understanding of the weapons used by humans, the extraterrestrial creatures gain the upper hand easily, and the natives of Earth have to fight for their independence.
In the sequel to the 1996-classic, “Independence Day”, most of the main cast members return, with the exception of Will Smith’s Captain Steven Hiller (who reportedly wanted USD50 million for the movie, but was rejected by 20th Century Fox). Hiller was killed in a flight accident years before the events in “Independence Day: Resurgence”, which explained his absence.
Instead of Will Smith, we were introduced to Jessie Usher, who takes up the role of Dylan Dubrow-Hiller, the stepson of Hiller senior. One of the captains of Earth Space Defense (ESD), Hiller junior looks up to his stepdad and aspires to be a great pilot like him. Although we would have liked to see Smith reprising his role, we’re not complaining because Usher did well in bringing his character to life. His acting was convincing and in one of the more emotional scenes, he almost reduced us to tears.
Most of the cast did okay, but Travis Tope, who played Charlie, the co-pilot/best friend of Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) stood out amongst them. Supposedly playing the role of the “annoying and clueless” sidekick, which most of us have come to loathe, Tope was surprisingly likeable! The bumbling character, who is also a “top student”, gave us the much needed comic relief with his lovesick and bumbling antics.
It is also interesting how the movie managed to tie-in most of the characters from the original, and yet tell the story of a new generation. Yes, the movie wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the original cast members, but it would still be passable as a standalone movie.
Another thing that we liked about the movie would be the character of Dr. Brakish Okun. Previously thought to be dead, Fox released a documentary-styled promo just before the premiere of the movie revealing that he was still alive, albeit in a coma. That’s not the only thing that will leave you dumbfounded, as an unexpected revelation about Dr. Okun’s lover will make your jaw drop. We don’t want to reveal too much, but we gotta admit that it was one of the best aspects of the movie.
For the action films fans, yes, there are plenty of destruction scenes, and some were so beautiful that it left us wondering: how can one destroy something and yet leave us in awe? With “alien technology” in the mix, expect to see a lot of zapping and shooting, but for traditional action fans, Dikembe Umbutu (played by Deobia Oparei), the leader of an ancient tribe, is here to save the day. As a hands-on warrior, the warlord slashes and slays his way through alien bodies with his 2 trusty katanas.
Although the CGI for the 1st movie was already stunning for its time, this sequel did not disappoint. When buildings collapsed, we shuddered from fright; when the aliens attacked with explosions, we flinched in fear.
Our only gripe was the appearances of the aliens. They were typical-looking – with large heads, tentacle-like arms, and wide eyes – like every other being from another planet in the universe of Hollywood. Is there some kind of unspoken rule that all aliens must look similar? Were all extraterrestrial creatures affected by some kind of radiation that enlarged their heads and eyes? We wouldn’t know, but it would be refreshing to see another re-imagination of foreign beings.
Also, the movie is not without its plot holes, and we still have some questions, like where did Constance Spano, ex-wife of David Levison, go? She was one of the main supporting characters of “Independence Day” so one couldn’t help but wonder. Her absence wasn’t explained, nor did any of the characters mention her name.
Over all, we wouldn’t say that the movie was impressive, as we have seen better end-of-the-world movies (“Snowpiercer”, “Intersetellar”), but it is definitely feel-good and mindless entertainment. Despite its flaws, ultimately, the movie hopes to send a message to all humans on earth: We are one.
We’ll now leave you with the trailer for “Independence Day: Resurgence”, which features our own Petronas Twin Towers 😉
“Independence Day: Resurgence” was released on 23rd June and is currently available in cinemas worldwide.