If you didn’t catch the first one 20 years ago, you might not know that Independence Day: Resurgence is a sequel. In the first film, aliens came to conquer the planet, and humans defeated them. But now, they’re back.
Despite expectations, the plot is refreshingly unpredictable (well, to an extent – you don’t seriously think the bad guys actually win, do you?). On July 4 (of course) there is a celebration to mark the anniversary of winning. But then an alien ship arrives and it’s back to battle stations. With an eclectic crew consisting of space fighter pilots, alien expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an African warlord, the US defence team, mad scientists and former US president Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), it’s impossible to tell who is going to come up with a plan to defeat the bad guys, and equally hard not to be on the edge of your seat as time is running out.
People who had contact with the aliens in the previous film seem to have a sort of connection to the aliens’ consciousness (in much the same way that Harry can sometimes glimpse Voldemort’s thoughts), and this is the only way to understand what is happening, as the language and technology seem too advanced for humans to comprehend.
Liam Hemsworth plays the stubborn, slightly arrogant space pilot Jake Morrison, but his flippant attitude provides some much needed comic relief from the otherwise constant tension. It would really be better to see Independence Day to fully understand the character dynamics, but it’s still easy to pick up if you haven’t.
If you like action, special effects and can ignore the frustrating logic gaps (it’s hard to believe that these hyper intelligent aliens are capable of conquering the galaxy but can’t stop a school bus full of children), then you will probably love this film. But if you do go see it, make sure you see it in 3D, as it’s all about the effects. Scenes such as flying through space debris and colossal alien ships were made for the cinema, and the sheer size and scale of the ships is all the more impressive in 3D. Overall, it’s a fun film, and a perfect way to add some excitement to a quiet Sunday afternoon.