The sequel to Independence Day (1996) finally arrived this summer on June 24. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you might not want to keep reading. (Possible spoilers ahead.)
What did this long awaited sequel give us?
- Big space ships – check
- Ugly aliens – check
- Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson) – double check
- Reoccurring characters: Bill Pullman (President Whitmore), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Brent Spiner (Dr. Brakish Okun), and Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Hiller) – check
- New characters: Liam Hemsworth (Jake Morrison), Charolette Gainsbourg (Catherine Marceaux), Jesse T. Usher (Dylan Hiller), Travis Tope (Charlie Miller), and Maika Monroe (Patricia Whitmore) – check
- Awesome special effects – check
- Explosions and destruction – check
Did it live up to the original? Hmmm, maybe? Seeing favorite characters (like David Levinson played wonderfully by Jeff Goldblum) back in action was long overdue. Not to mention the advancements in the special effects department, which made the aliens more gnarly and destruction of cities more terrifying, was superb on the big screen.
As a fan of the original movie, I might be judging this follow up slightly harsher than I would had it been a standalone new story. Missing familiar faces is probably my number one gripe, with Will Smith (Captain Steven Hiller) being the most obvious.
How about Mae Whitman (the original Patricia Whitmore in Independence Day)? Why wouldn’t they bring her back? A terrific actress in her own right, her absence from the movie seemed to leave a bit of a hole. Monroe did a decent job, but there was something lacking in the chemistry between her and Pullman. What happened to Margaret Colin’s character (Constance Spano)? After the world almost ends in the first film and Colin and Goldblum seemingly reunited, you would think they would have given us more regarding her absence.
Instead of delving further into the backstories of the aliens and the characters, this film seemed to stick to the same formula as the first. It needed more story, more twists, and well just plain more something. Where was the character development for Hemsworth, Usher, and the other newbies? Director Roland Emmerich did bring a classic story to a new generation of viewers, however, for those of us captivated by the 1996 classic, this almost felt like a reboot.
All that being said, I didn’t completely dislike this film. It had some positives. I have to give proper kudos to Tope, whose character completed my void of the hysterical side-kick originally filled by Harry Connick Jr. (Captain Jimmy Wilder). I’m hopeful that if we get a third installment, they take a hard look at the storyline and character development. For my part, I ran home and re-watched the first film.
What did you all think?
Source: Movies CheatSheet
Music geek. Professional TV and movie nerd. Typical travelaholic. Passionate food aficionado. Organizer. Pop culture junkie.