Oh, Roland Emmerich, you just couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you? It’s been 20 years since Independence Day gave us that awesome Bill Pullman speech and blasted Will Smith’s already flourishing career into the stratosphere. I think by now we’ve all acknowledged that while we love ID4 (as it was called) in all its action-packed glory, it’s a pretty ridiculous film that paints America as being the smartest, best, most ass-kicking country on the face of the earth. I mean, for crying out loud, the President himself flies a fighter jet to shoot down UFO’s. Now, since Independence Day made about a bazillion dollars, it stood to reason that they’d try to make a sequel. And had they released it in, say, 1998, it might have worked, too. This is one film that did not need a belated sequel decades after the fact. But we’re getting one in the form of Independence Day: Resurgence.
Where to begin with this? I suppose the most obvious thing is how conspicuous Will Smith’s absence is. Of the two main characters in Independence Day, Smith’s character definitely had the better tie-in to the action. He was a fighter pilot who wanted to become an astronaut. Jeff Goldblum, by contrast, was a cable repairman whose ex-wife worked for the president. But it seems that Smith was asking for too much money, so he has been killed off-screen for this second installment. That won’t be stopping Vivica A. Fox from returning as Smith’s wife – a stripper turned hospital manager. In fact, just about everyone besides Smith is coming back, including Judd Hirsch as Goldblum’s extremely Jewish dad. The alien ships are bigger, the U.S. military now has laser guns…I guess they’re trying to be just as ridiculous as the first one, because with every plot element that I describe, I realize more and more what an absolute mess of nonsense this film is going to be. At least Brent Spiner is back.
Independence Day: Resurgence comes out June 24, 2016. THAT’S NOT EVEN INDEPENDENCE DAY! COME ON!