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{All photos courtesy Twentieth Century Fox}

Independence Day: Resurgence
Story by Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, and Roland Emmerich
Written by Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Copyright 2016

London is falling down … after falling up.

It’s been twenty years since the War of 1996. Twenty years since aliens destroyed the world’s largest cities and were defeated. Twenty years to take their technology and use it for ourselves and our defense. We knew that they’d be back and we prepared … and we still get our asses handed to us.

And that is the basic plot of Independence Day: Resurgence.

ID42posterWelcome to an alternative 2016 Earth. In this world, we were attacked 20 years ago by aliens, we used their technologies to rebuild our major cities and advance our science and technology (hover planes, hover screens, sharks with frickin’ laser beams … ok, not the last one).

The aliens, for their part, are just now learning of the destruction of their fleet. This knowledge sends their queen, their big ginormous queen, to Earth to finish the job and avenge her fallen. She comes in a ship so massive it stretches from the east coast of America to the west coast of Europe and creates its own gravitational field when it lands, picking up Asian cities and dropping them on Europe. “They like to get the landmarks,” remark David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) as London is destroyed.

It was great seeing these characters again, especially Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner). I was amused how many people were confused about the state of his character prior to the movie. He wasn’t killed by the aliens 20 years ago: he was just in a coma. David Levinson, who in the first movie was a cable technician who discovers the alien signal and then comes up with the defeating solution, is in the sequel the Director of the ESD, the Earth Space Defense force. Ex-President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is coping with issues from the mental contact he had with the aliens twenty years prior.

Meanwhile, a few characters were just downright shoehorned in, like Julius Levinson (David’s dad played by Judd Hirsh),  Jasmin Hiller (Vivica A. Fox), or General Grey (Robert Loggia in his final appearance, the film is dedicated to him) who just waves to the crowd in a scene commemorating the War of 1996. Julius even creates a huge plot hole when he drives from the East Coast to Area 51 in under a day in a school bus … in the middle of an alien apocalypse. It’s a bit beyond belief.

Dr. Okun and Director Levinson brief the President on their findings.
Dr. Okun and Director Levinson brief the new President on their findings.

One character that didn’t return for this sequel was Capt. Steven Hiller, who was played by Will Smith in one of his first big roles post The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. His character died in the intervening years between this movie and it’s predecessor, and is not missed one bit. Sorry Will, your character was split up and given to a whole new generation of characters.

And there are plenty of new characters. Our main ones are Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), the son of Capt. Steven Hiller; Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), an ace pilot who is working as a space tug pilot at the ESD Moon Base; Charlie Miller (Travis Tope), Jake’s friend and comic relief; Rain Lao (Angelababy), a Chinese pilot and object of Charlie’s affection; and Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), Jake’s fiancée and Dylan’s friend.

The new cast members were enjoyable, but most of the focus was on the returning cast. The new members just helped to facilitate the plot and do the heavy lifting the older actors couldn’t do. This movie is also meant for you to be introduced to these characters for the possible sequel, which doesn’t look likely at this time. As of this writing, the film has broken even at the box office.

Must go faster, must go faster. ©Twentieth Century Fox
Must go faster, must go faster.

I must say personally that I really liked this movie, I loved the original back in 1996 and the sequel was like meeting old friends … with kids. I didn’t mind the plot holes that much, I look forward to the Blu-ray release.

Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin really show how masterful they are at the big budget disaster movie. They really know how to destroy a city. This time by using gravity to drop cities on top of each other. I enjoy the work of these two and am always glad when they come together.

So if you like world wide destruction, you’ll like this movie.

Independence Day: Resurgence opened on June 24, 2016. For more information, go to the official website and look back at the events of the first movie and the aftermath at the War of 1996 website.



Thomas Townley

Thomas spends hours playing games, reading books and comic books and watching genre tv. You should too.

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