As a proud 1990s kid, I had many great movies stapled into my childhood, and seeing Independence Day at the age of 9 was truly one of them. It was loud, silly, and a lot of fun.
Now, twenty years later (in which time I like to think I got a bit smarter along the way), we have Independence Day: Resurgence. I will be blunt: The fact than Will Smith is not in the movie is not the worst part. There are many issues.
First, the main reason that I went to this movie was because of the character of Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner). If you remember the first one, on the second day (July 3rd), he and his team of scientists are performing surgery on an unconcious alien. The alien awakens, and kills everyone in the room. Apparently, Okun survived (despite a scene where his neck is being felt for a pulse, showing he clearly died) and was in a coma for twenty years. Ok, sure, I guess. I know nothing about comas, but something does sound a bit fishy.
Also, though Will Smith’s character is absent (he died in a test flight crash), his step son Dylan (Jessie T. Usher) is still around as a pilot. His mom Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) was an exotic dancer. Now, she is a nurse/doctor (I was not sure). I guess you could say that she had enough time to study to be where she is now at twenty years, but the situations she is in seem as cliche as loud kids on Christmas morning.
The basic plot: we as humans have upped our defenses in case of another invasion, but the aliens had time as well (though if they knew about us in the first place, why not just use that technology in the first one? Probably because it was in 1996.) We now have stations on the moon, with pilots like Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth). He is engaged to Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), daughter of Former President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman). The former president is having nightmares/visions (as is Dr. Okun) of the aliens. Jeff Goldblum is back as David Levinson, though he seems uninterested to be there. The same can basically be said for his on screen dad Julius, played again by Judd Hirsch. He too is thrown into a situation that is as cliche as (let me think here)…oh, candy on Halloween (I am on a role!)
Others include William Fichtner as General Adams, Sela Ward as (current) President Lanford, and a brief return for General Grey, played by the late Robert Loggia.
Parents, if the kids have seen the original, you can let them see this (at least they won’t be confused if they haven’t).
Actually, you should let them just end on the first one, and pretend that it ended with Will Smith fulfilling his step son’s wishes for fireworks. Resurgence is like a fire work you see go into the air, and realize that it is not going off.
Overall: One Star *