It’s been 20 years since the release of Independence Day. As the world celebrates two decades of peace--globally and galactically--the Earth finds itself facing another alien invasion. The aliens return bigger and badder than before with revenge on their minds. Thankfully humanity has been able to build defenses based on technology recovered from the attack in ‘96, but will it be enough for them to survive this attack?
While Will Smith may not have returned to reprise his role, we thankfully did get almost everyone back from the original film. Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Brent Spiner as well as many more minor characters all returned to their respective roles. However, it’s the new characters that stood out. Liam Hemsworth plays Jake Morrison, a semi-disgraced pilot in the Earth Space Defense Force. He also happens to be married to Patricia Whitmore, daughter of Bill Pullman’s character, Former President Thomas Whitmore. While Will Smith’s character isn’t in the movie, his son, Dylan Hiller, followed in his footsteps and became a pilot like his father. While the returning faces added a sense of experience and knowledge, it’s the new characters that add some youthful exuberance that makes the movie feel fun. They’re the ones who are ready to go out and fight while the older characters are there to show them how. Overall, they all work well together.
The film may be an altogether fun experience, but it’s far from perfect. It’s overly cheesy in many parts, and at times is incredibly predictable, that being said it never takes itself too seriously. At times, it also feels like the movie expects the audiences to assume things that are not overtly discussed or even mentioned. You just have to accept how things are even if they don’t make the most sense. The movie also runs into the issue of having too many characters. While no performance felt unnecessary, many characters only received limited screen time due to many different storylines going on at once. However, all of this is overshadowed by the fact that every performance was enjoyable, with a special nod going to the comedic relief of Brent Spiner’s character.
In a day and age where movie studios are looking to capitalize on iconic franchises, whether it be through remakes, reboots, or long overdue sequels, it seems like many attempts fall flat on their face. Luckily, Roland Emmerich was able to capture a lot of the magic that made the first film a massive success. With many of the original cast members reprising their roles as well as plenty of new faces being introduced, Independence Day: Resurgence was an entertaining, albeit imperfect, return to humanity fighting against extinction.
7.5 out of 10