The first Independence day came out in 1996 and although flawed(explosion takes out entire city block, Dog out runs explosion), it was a fun film. Mainly because Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum made such a great “buddy” duo. There was a really great cast who worked well off each other. When Bill Pullman(playing the president) gave his independence day speech, it was hokey but at the same time inspiring. There was an intensity to the movie. How were they going to take out this alien race that just leveled a city block with inadequate weapons? Personally thought they way they resolved it was great. It was an all around fun scifi action movie. So if you haven’t seen it, do so, especially before you see this one…or instead.
20 years later we get the sequel. The movie itself is actually set 20 years later as well. The world now has alien technology. The alien race awakens, there ships are bigger the aliens are badder and I am bord. First of all it took so long to get going, it was close to 45 minutes before anything really happened. I remember being in the theatre thinking please stop talking and do something! The cast was somewhat interesting but they didn’t spend a whole lot of time on any one character ark. Part of the reason for this is they introduced too many characters and didn’t spend enough time anon any one character. There was a buddy duo very reminiscent of the Goldblum Will Smith duo, the difference was his son(in the movie not real life) didn’t have close to as much personality as Will Smiths character. Jessie Usher who played WIll smiths son is an excellent actor, I just don’t think the writing for his character was that strong. In fact that was my problem with most of the movie. The acting was fine, the writing not so much. The same with Liam Hemsworth who played Jake Morrison, he had some moments that were pretty good, but overall his character was pretty standard fare. That’s the real issue I had with this movie, nothing surprised me. There were a lot of groaner moments and not in a funny way.
I mentioned earlier that the first film had this hokey speech, but it was still somehow cool. In this movie it felt like the writers said, “You know what people loved that speech from the first film!”
“we should give them a bunch more like it!” and so they did, add nauseum. Part of the problem is the speeches did not have as much conviction. If you don’t want any spoilers skip the next paragraph.
Another issue I had with the movie is when character’s died, you didn’t know them well enough to care that much. I’m not just talking about unnamed soldier, I am talking about characters that were main characters in the last movie, and a few newer characters they just introduced. We should care when someone we are supposed to be rooting for dies. I just wanted them to get on with it.
Despite my frustration with the films pacing, there was some good in this film. The effects were very well done. When the mother ship first showed up, the sense of scale was incredible. When the ship passed over the earth, it completely covered the sky. The Alien mother was huge and looked very cool. All the aliens had this great looking armor, that made them more intimidating, the Alien mothers armor was even more intimidating. You could tell a lot of care and effort was put into the creature designs and ship designs.
Another thing that I really enjoyed in this movie was seeing some of the returning characters. Jeff Goldblum reprised his role and well, he was Jeff Goldblum. Fan or not you know what to expect. Bill Pullman was definitely a highlight to this movie. I would so vote for him if he was running for US president. He was strong, brave and the kind of man you want leading your country. He played this role so well, I couldn’t imagine another actor in his part. Brent Spinner also returned as wacky scientist Dr Brackish Okun. I’m a big fan of Brent Spinner, especially as Data one of my favorite Star Trek characters. Didn’t love this character. Again it wasn’t him, the character just seemed so over the top. I really did enjoy seeing Judd Hirsh return, he is one of my favorite actors and really enjoyed what they did with his character here.
The ending, so anti-climatic. I wont give it away, just didn’t seem worth it to me. The battle scenes were pretty cool, but they just were not enough to carry this film. I really wanted to love this film. I just found myself so bored through most of the movie. if you really need to see it, wait for the Blu-ray, or better yet wait until it comes on T.V or Netflix or something.
Final Score – 6/10
Family Friendly score – 6/10
Blood, some language. mostly the aliens were grotesque and scary for the little ones. Other then that not much else to report here. I would recommend parents watch it with real young ones.