Independence Day - Resurgence - Aliens Return, 20 Years Late

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Independence Day - Resurgence - Aliens Return, 20 Years Late

Independence Day: Resurgence is another too-late sequel, and it's another too-late sequel that's awful.

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Scarim Coral

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I thought the film was ok.

I can easily summed it up as less patriotism, a more diverse cast and now adding in product placements at the first part of the film! I mean what, did Mark Zuckerberg died during the invasion in their universe for QQ to had become popular???

I don't get why the main alien ship started to take off after the Queen died? I thought that sphere commandeer it (speaking of the sphere, why didn't it appear in the first, stuck in traffic?) but it was still with them when it happened.
 

Mahorfeus

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Yeah, I was afraid of that. I was against the concept of a sequel from the beginning. I thought I might give it a chance when I realized that a decent chunk of the main cast was returning (sans Will Smith, of course), but now I'm not so sure. I have a coupon from buying the original on Bluray though, so I guess I might as well. Need that excuse to eat some movie popcorn. :p
 

RJ 17

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Pretty much what I expected: another entry in the list of "Sequels That Most Definitely Should Not Have Been Made".

I mean, that's what my initial reaction to hearing about this movie years ago..."What the fuck? Are you serious?"
 

votemarvel

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It was pretty good but does suffer from a case of "this was cool in the first move, let's do it again but bigger" that it must have caught from the Force Awakens.

For a two hour film though it didn't feel like it at all. It doesn't waste screen time that's for sure.
 

Hawki

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Hmm...

I don't really disagree with anything in the review per se. It feels like an unnecessary sequel, a lot of dialogue is exposition in the opening act (and by proxy, there's way too many characters), its overall plot feels like ID4 compressed into the span of a single day, none of its actions come close to the effect (e.g. there's a mirror of the July 3rd scene that also goes south, albeit for different, vaguely defined reasons), and it ends on blatent sequel bait. You know when I complained about Warcraft having sequel bait? Well, I take it back. Warcraft at least established at the start that this wasn't going to end well for either side as the war was still going. In this film, without spoilers, the last words are literally "we're going to go into space to kick some alien arse" and cue fade to black. Oh, and that a ship that covers the entire Atlantic is the antagonist? Bigger isn't always better. The effects of its gravity are factored in at the start, but those effects just stop once it lands. Oh, and there's blatant homage, if not copying to other sci-fi properties (Command & Conquer, Ender's Game, arguably Star Wars, Jurassic Park) with mixed results, and when they have to take out the shields, then gun, then literally shoot the (spoiler) of the (spoiler) to save the day, it's like something straight out of a videogame. In a bad way.

And yet...I don't think this is a bad film per se. It's average - 3 out of 5 stars, and not once did my opinion change on it. Because despite everything I've said above, there are some things I liked about this film, namely:

-The aesthetic of human-alien tech, while limited (e.g. they're still using fossil fuels for cars), is something I like, and has a similar touch as Stargate SG-1 - alien tech with a human touch. This extended to the aesthetic of the moonbase as well.

-Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner are easily the standouts. Oaken is every bit the cliche scientist he was in the first film, but I found myself smiling most of the time he was on screen. Likewise, the other characters aren't without moments of depth. For instance, it's commented that Hillard's son was always going to get command of Legacy Squadron because, well, he's Hillard's son. Jake was never going to get that position by virtue of him being a "war orphan," in a world where being orphaned in the War of 96 doesn't really mean anything. There's a few other comments like that that do add depth to the setting and characters, that even in this utopian future, politics and prejudice still exist, if not on the surface.

-While the film does follow the story-beats of ID4, there are subtle differences. Very, very subtle, and I may be reading too much into it, but I guess I could sum up the aliens' (note: why are they still just called "aliens" by humans 20 years later? Heck, just call them (spoiler) like the (spoiler) calls them). But if I could sum up the approaches:

-ID1: Okay, it's yet another backwater. Get the ships above their cities, blow them up, move on. They...oh, they're sending fighters at us? Fine, send out the fighters and...done? Okay, let's get back to work and...our shields are down? Uh-oh.

-ID2: Okay, these little bastards took out an entire harvesting operation, so we're not taking any chances this time. Send one of our (spoilers), get the job done, no slipups this time. We also know that they're going to counter-attack, so we're going to use actual aerospace tactics in air-to-air combat. Ooh, we outflanked them? Very good job. Now let's get this done before they can surprise us again.

Not going into spoilers there, but yes, there is a different 'essence' to the combat at times.

-The psychic connection, how because the aliens communicate telepathically, humans who are exposed to this can sort of 'tap in' to the hivemind (e.g. Whitmoore), but at severe cost to their mental health. Again, nice touch.

-Alien ground troops with laser guns. That's all I'm going to say, only that more of this please, and less "throw everything on screen in a manner that would make Rick McCallum blush."

So, yeah. Unnecessary sequel and not a good film, but, IMO, way better than one star. To address Caramel Frappe, this film isn't on the level of Michael Bay. Like, at all. There's moments of genuine humour, and I'll take these characters over the likes of the Transformers ones anyday. It's silly, stupid fun, but the type of fun that doesn't make you feel stupid for watching it.

So, yeah. That's my 2 cents.

Other thoughts:

-This is one of the few films I've seen where toilet humour was genuinely funny. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

-Have we reached the point of "token Asian" replacing "token black?" I ask because there's a Chinese pilot in Legacy Squadron who's the neice of the Chinese general on the moon base, but neither are really developed as characters (and the pilot is really there to be "token love interest with token buddy pilot guy") and this being in a film that's otherwise all-American bar the French psychologist and African warlord (because of course he is). The film is far less patriotic per se than the first, but feels like it wants to be considered inclusive, yet is unwilling or unable to do the groundwork to make non-American/white characters have a prominent role.
 

fix-the-spade

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Scarim Coral said:
I don't get why the main alien ship started to take off after the Queen died? I thought that sphere commandeer it (speaking of the sphere, why didn't it appear in the first, stuck in traffic?) but it was still with them when it happened.
Spoilerific!
<spoiler= Presumably>
If the Aliens had a planet cracker available (implied to be one of several) as a second wave, they must have hundreds if not thousands of the invasion type mother ships from the first film scouting for suitable targets and carrying out the initial attacks.

This puts the sphere at a huge disadvantage, even with it's wormhole/teleport thing it can only be in one place at one time and has to expose itself to enemy fire when approaching a target planet. It's shown to be vulnerable to human weapons, so it must also be vulnerable to alien weapons, even with it's massive speed advantage approaching a doomed world presents a huge risk.

In the first film it must have been occupied with another planet, or completely unaware of Earth's existence until it picked up the first ship's dying distress call. Or it could have been completely aware, but it's limited resources and risky operation meant it only saves species that demonstrated an ability fight back. Destroying the first mothership showed that Humanity was useful, so it made plans to drop in and perform it's rescue just ahead of the planet cracker.

Of course Humanity's improved armament scuppered that mission, forcing it to aid humanity in their head on fight.


So that's my theory.
 

Xpwn3ntial

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Hawki said:
-Have we reached the point of "token Asian" replacing "token black?" I ask because there's a Chinese pilot in Legacy Squadron who's the neice of the Chinese general on the moon base, but neither are really developed as characters (and the pilot is really there to be "token love interest with token buddy pilot guy") and this being in a film that's otherwise all-American bar the French psychologist and African warlord (because of course he is). The film is far less patriotic per se than the first, but feels like it wants to be considered inclusive, yet is unwilling or unable to do the groundwork to make non-American/white characters have a prominent role.
Yeeeep.


http://www.ibtimes.com/independence-day-2-plot-twist-why-china-gets-help-america-blow-aliens-long-awaited-2385617

This movie's getting a Chinese release, so there is no uncertainty that the Chinese character was a studio mandate to accommodate that. It's nothing new, but changing movies to appeal to China is a trend that's only gaining momentum. This even feeds into the point of the first act being chock-full of exposition. China doesn't really know a lot about the first movie!

This is completely at odds with the "white actors sell tickets" paradigm that Hollywood has followed since its foundation, which addresses your last sentence. Honestly I can't completely blame them for that paradigm but that's another discussion for another day.

Adding to that since Hollywood wants to make movies that appeal to a worldwide audience the patriotic angle just doesn't work anymore.
 

Saltyk

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Haven't seen this movie, yet. Not sure I want to. This is one of those, "if my friends wanna go see it, I will" movies. However, I can't say I'm too surprised.

Also, when has a movie with multiple screen writers ever been good? I swear that is a kiss of death for movies. Several different views, voices, and concepts in one script tends to make them incoherent.

Next up on "A Sequel No One Asked For": Ghostbusters.
Can it turn the tide? Probably not...

Hawki said:
-Have we reached the point of "token Asian" replacing "token black?" I ask because there's a Chinese pilot in Legacy Squadron who's the neice of the Chinese general on the moon base, but neither are really developed as characters (and the pilot is really there to be "token love interest with token buddy pilot guy") and this being in a film that's otherwise all-American bar the French psychologist and African warlord (because of course he is). The film is far less patriotic per se than the first, but feels like it wants to be considered inclusive, yet is unwilling or unable to do the groundwork to make non-American/white characters have a prominent role.
This is most likely because China is a big market nowadays. Hollywood makes an effort to include Asian/Chinese actors in order to appeal to the Chinese market. They've even altered movies to do so.

Also, Will Smith had a prominent role in the original. I don't think you intended to say that the first movie had a "token black character", but it can be read that way.
 

Hawki

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Saltyk said:
Next up on "A Sequel No One Asked For": Ghostbusters.
Well, technically it's a reboot rather than a sequel...

Hawki said:
This is most likely because China is a big market nowadays. Hollywood makes an effort to include Asian/Chinese actors in order to appeal to the Chinese market. They've even altered movies to do so.

Also, Will Smith had a prominent role in the original. I don't think you intended to say that the first movie had a "token black character", but it can be read that way.
Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with the China aspect, just that it really stands out here.

To clarify, Will Smith in ID4 is by no means a "token" character. He's one of the main protagonists (arguably THE main protagonist), whose actions are integral to the plot. In contrast, Rain (the Chinese pilot) doesn't meet any of this criteria. She exists to establish the following things:

-Legacy Squadron is from many nations (though Dylan and Jake are the only characters of note, and apart from the US and China, I can only say for sure that one of the pilots is German)

-That she's Chinese, and has a passionate "fanbase" among those of her nationality (moon staff literally try to get her autograph)

-That she's attractive, and that therefore Charlie (a pilot who serves as comic relief) has the hots for her, in a film that already has two pairings going on.

-To "exist" in air battles.

To be clear, why this puts me off is that it feels like tokenism - everything we know about her is based on her nationality and gender. In contrast, Will Smith's character is a defined, if broad one in ID4, and a major character. It wants to reap the benefits of including a Chinese national, but not do any legwork in regards to character development.
 

Wrex Brogan

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...ehhh, I liked it. Some good, dumb action-y fun that we don't quite see anymore. It was definitely going 'YEAH, INDEPENDENCE DAY BUT BIGGER!' but I enjoyed all the action sequences, none of the characters made me want to strangle them and the [REDACTED] was an awesome 'final boss' fight.
 

Scarim Coral

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Xpwn3ntial said:
Hawki said:
-Have we reached the point of "token Asian" replacing "token black?" I ask because there's a Chinese pilot in Legacy Squadron who's the neice of the Chinese general on the moon base, but neither are really developed as characters (and the pilot is really there to be "token love interest with token buddy pilot guy") and this being in a film that's otherwise all-American bar the French psychologist and African warlord (because of course he is). The film is far less patriotic per se than the first, but feels like it wants to be considered inclusive, yet is unwilling or unable to do the groundwork to make non-American/white characters have a prominent role.
Yeeeep.


http://www.ibtimes.com/independence-day-2-plot-twist-why-china-gets-help-america-blow-aliens-long-awaited-2385617

This movie's getting a Chinese release, so there is no uncertainty that the Chinese character was a studio mandate to accommodate that. It's nothing new, but changing movies to appeal to China is a trend that's only gaining momentum. This even feeds into the point of the first act being chock-full of exposition. China doesn't really know a lot about the first movie!

This is completely at odds with the "white actors sell tickets" paradigm that Hollywood has followed since its foundation, which addresses your last sentence. Honestly I can't completely blame them for that paradigm but that's another discussion for another day.

Adding to that since Hollywood wants to make movies that appeal to a worldwide audience the patriotic angle just doesn't work anymore.
Ah! That explained the Chinese product placement used in some films like Micheal Bay Transformers 3 and that "filler" scene that China got with Iron Man 3
The Chinese soy milk and QQ, a Chinese Facebook (did Mark Zuckerberg died in their universe from the first invasion cos they were using it!)
 

Hawki

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008Zulu said:
Hawki said:
Saltyk said:
Next up on "A Sequel No One Asked For": Ghostbusters.
Well, technically it's a reboot rather than a sequel...
The opening text crawl for the movie states that is is a direct sequel. Something of a soft reboot though.
First or second hand account?

If the first, curious to know your thoughts (without spoilers).
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Hawki said:
First or second hand account?

If the first, curious to know your thoughts (without spoilers).
Melissa McCarthy gave an interview in which she stated it was (a sequel) at the beginning of the movie, but the movie itself ignores the originals.
 

Czann

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So basically everything that The Force Awakens did, right?

But because it's Star Wars it can get away with it.


Meh, I thought both movies are fun even if SW:TFA has better pacing ID4:R is still a good action romp.
 

Extra-Ordinary

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Mm, just saw it, wasn't blown away.

The events happen a bit too fast, the characters are uninteresting, and the cuts are a bit abrupt for my taste.
But it's got okay action and I'll admit to actually liking some of the cheesy jokes.

I don't know, I'm usually more forgiving of things but this wasn't as fun as I thought it was going to be.

I was hoping for the aerial battles to be on a bigger scale. All of Earth is united in peace now with combat readiness in case a massive scale invasion happened again and granted this invasion was "definitely bigger than the last one" and the had those awesome laser cannons but once those were destroyed, they sent one hanger of fighters if I remember correctly. And it's a big hanger and I know Area 51 became the hub of alien countermeasures but it's the end of the world again, you'd think the rest of the Earth would give what they got.
Maybe I'm wrong, I'd actually love to be corrected on this.

Anyway.

I will say though, the Mothership showing up was an absolute *spectacle* for me. I frequent IMAX from time to time and having finished this, I'm glad I saved the money but I would've loved to see the Mothership reveal on a giant screen, I think that would've been amazing.

Why did the aliens start diggin' a whole new hole when the had a perfectly good one already half dug in Africa or wherever it was? They come out of hiding around the Moon, I'm sure they would've had time to say "Hey, could you scootch over a little?" Maybe I'm wrong, maybe that hole wasn't as deep as it looked and the ocean was a better starting point but I'm just thinkin' if they picked up where they left off, they woulda had this.

I'm still a little excited for the conclusion to this potential trilogy, bringing the fight to them and going toe to toe in a battle of simply who can fight the hardest. I know Independence Day likes it's theme of tenacity against overwhelming odds but I'd love to see an intergalactic battle of the most unimaginable proportions ever put to screen.
 

Hawki

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Czann said:
So basically everything that The Force Awakens did, right?

But because it's Star Wars it can get away with it.


Meh, I thought both movies are fun even if SW:TFA has better pacing ID4:R is still a good action romp.
Both Force Awakens and Resurgence feel like unnecessary, average sequels, but I'd still put TFA above Resurgence. It has better characters, better pacing, better cinematography, and while still rehashed, a better plot. If anything, Resurgence has helped me appreciate TFA more.

Extra-Ordinary said:
Few things to consider, though this is down to my interpretation:

-Excluding the fact that the African site is justified as having to have the site on land, and in Africa of all cases (because, sigh, it's Africa), the vibe in ID4 is that humans are little more than pests, and that the aliens can take their sweet time in harvesting the planet. So if that means digging through continental rather than oceanic crust, then so be it.

-The "mega ship" has the advantage of a better drill (presumably) and as I discussed above, the vibe I got is that the aliens are going to make sure there aren't any screwups this time. So it anchors itself over the Atlantic and drills there. Faster, more efficient job. Or it might be coincidence - I have a feeling that the megaship is still uncaring as to where it lands exactly per se. Sure, it's taking out the capitals of superpowers like the US and UK, but I doubt that the aliens are that interested in human strength, even if they're giving humanity more attention this time round.

-Not sure about "large battles" though. Something I felt about Resurgence is that, similar to what some people have compalined about in the Star Wars prequels, is that it's throwing up too much stuff on the screen at once. Sometimes, less is more, and that still applies to Independence Day.