Twenty years after their unsuccessful invasion of Earth, the alien’s return to once again to launch another attack. With the Earth technologically decades ahead than they would be otherwise after using alien technology from the previous ships, they are better equipped to deal with the new threat. However, after discovering that the enormous ship has destroyed countless other worlds with less ‘primitive’ people, does humanity have what it takes to stop the new threat that could wipe out life as we know it.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) – Director: Roland Emmerich
Running Length: 120 mins
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Disaster
Epic sci-fi movie, ‘Independence Day’ has finally been given a sequel – twenty years later. Two decades after humanity faced annihilation, Steven Hiller (Will Smith) has died, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) works for Earth Space Defence (ESD) and President Tom Whitmore has developed mental health problems due to his previous encounter with the aliens. The next generation of Earth’s defence are somewhat connected to their predecessors but stand apart and, while they do need some help from the experts, they don’t rely on them to fight their battles for them. The new threat from a ‘harvester queen’ is inevitably harder to defeat and the devastation it wreaks is much worse than the previous attack so the need for superior technology and the tenacity of the human spirit must win-out once again to save the world.
Sadly, addressing the criticisms of the 1996 movie and modernising the plot has alluded Emmerich who has simply made another big budget, special effects bonanza but this time, the characters are vacuous and the plot makes little sense. After half the northern hemisphere is destroyed by the alien ship’s arrival, anywhere outside the USA barely gets a mention and those that do survive, for some reason, only appear to live in primitive tents, with people huddling around radios, for news of what the technologically superior USA and China are doing to save them. Many of the characters are pointless and seemingly important plot points are immediately dropped as soon as they are mentioned. Steven Hiller’s son, Dylan (Jessie T. Usher), is now a pilot like his father but after his initial introduction, his character is little more than an assistant to the cocky, gung-ho Jake (Liam Hemsworth) who has a lot less charm than Will Smith.
What can’t be denied is that ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ has impressive special effects and it plays homage to the first movie with characters, dialogue and even some scenes but if you are looking for the plot and characters to be as good as the effects, re-watch the original as, despite its many flaws, it is a whole lot better than this appallingly mediocre sequel.
IS ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
A character visits Central Africa and meets with a warlord who has spent time battling the aliens who landed nearby. When the character first arrives at the camp, they are met by several threatening men who hold large guns. There are numerous totems outside the camps which are made up of alien skulls. This scene lasts for a few minutes and although there is some wise cracking, the men with guns are quite frightening, especially as they are quick to threaten to shoot someone who only mildly steps out of line.
When the aliens first arrive on Earth, the ship travels over Asia and Europe, destroying everything in its path. One city is shown to be destroyed; buildings, planes, vehicles and people are sucked into the air due to the ship’s gravity field, everything then falls to the ground and it is implied that millions of people would have been killed by this.
An established character deliberately puts himself in a locked room with one of the aliens, their friends and loved ones beg them to stop but they don’t listen. The room quickly fills with smoke and the character is slammed against the glass window with one of the alien’s tentacles wrapped around their neck.
There are several moments where the aliens are seen in close up, they are frightening and seemingly full of malice. In one short scene, they force their way into a building and kill everyone inside. The camera cuts away before the massacre is seen but the alien show no mercy and it is made clear that they have no compassion for any of the humans they come across. During one of the attacks, an incidental character is killed and an alien uses his hand to unlock a door, this isn’t too gory but some blood is seen.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ had the ability to be a great movie but sadly the (very impressive) special effects have taken priority, making the plot and most of the characters superficial. While it is far from perfect, there’s no denying that the spectacle is what audiences will enjoy and it delivers with aplomb. Depending on the individual’s feelings on the frequent moderate blasphemy and cursing, we feel this movie is appropriate for kids aged 9 and over.
- Violence: 2/5 (some shooting and air battles with the aliens resulting in fatalities but little death or suffering is seen. A character punches another in the face causing the recipient to fall to the floor. This character then gets up and treats the situation humorously)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a character sacrifices themselves for the greater good, a loved one struggles to accept their decision and becomes upset. A character is shot and as they lay dying, their friend kneels over them and becomes distraught)
- Fear Factor: 2/5 (the aliens are usually seen in darkened rooms, these scenes are often intense but short)
- Sexual Content: 0/5
- Bad Language: 3/5 (frequent, unavoidable mild and moderate blasphemy. The non-blasphemous cursing isn’t quite as frequent but is still likely to be too strong for younger kids)
- Dialogue: 2/5
- Other notes: Deals with themes of the tenacity of the human spirit, intelligence being as important as strength, courage, not giving up, families, friendship and love.
Words by Laura Record