After a trying week (no pun intended) my family and I spent an interesting two hours at the movies this afternoon and took in a 3D showing of Independence Day Resurgence. The aliens are back bigger and badder than ever.
The term “resurgence” means “an increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence”. Some twenty years have passed since earth was attacked by a horde of techno savvy aliens who come close to decimating the planet and exterminating everyone on it. The earthlings have learned a thing or two since then and even stored away a few alien weapons they captured in the last war. They have built defensive positions on Saturn and the Moon in the hopes of making sure that should our friends ever return they would receive a very warm welcome.
But, as with all the plans of mice and men they sometimes go awry and once again the aliens are soon on top with time running out and little hope of overcoming their enormous advantage. It is in the struggle to overcome insurmountable odds that the story line takes form and shape. Heros are born and alliances of opposites forged and once again the appeal is made to unite a common humanity in the face of a common enemy.
The movie is steadily guided by the veteran actors from the first Independence Day along with some new faces. Bill Pullman is back as a much older and much crankier ex-president Whitmore who begins the movie as a near invalid but morphs in later sequences into a very energetic and heroic savior. Jeff Goldblum with his enormous talent for conveying feeling through his facial expressions plays David Levinson as he did in the first movie but a David who has now become an important government scientific official entrusted with the responsibility to protect us from future alien attacks. Judd Hirsch is back as Julius Levinson, David’s father and Brent Spinner returns as the slightly eccentric but highly entertaining Dr. Brackish Okun. Vivica Fox makes a brief appearance and reprises her role as Jasmine Hiller who has used the past twenty years to rise from exotic dancer to nurse. And, Robert Loggia makes a brief appearance as a much older General Grey.
New additions to the cast include Charlotte Gainsborough as Catherine Marceaux, David’s new squeeze who just happens to be a brilliant woman who takes on the task of deciphering the alien’s signs and symbols and translating their language. Also, Liam Hemsworth as Jake Morrison ace pilot, Jesse T. Usher as Dillon Hiller, also an ace pilot, Maika More as Patricia Whitmore, the ex-president’s daughter and ace pilot turned Whitehouse aide, Sela Ward as the new President Lanford, Deobia Operal who turns in a wonderful performance as African warlord Dikembe Uumbutu, and Nicolas Wright as Floyd Rosenberg who starts the movie as a pesky government controller and ends it as a brave and mighty warrior.
The performances rendered by Pullman, Goldblum, Spinner and Hirsch make the movie worth watching if for no other reason. There is one piece of business between Hirsch and Goldblum that is priceless. One can feel that they are father and son from their interaction with one another. And, the newcomers also rendered good steady performances. The interaction between Operal and Wright is very entertaining. Operal underplays and Wright overplays producing just the right balance in the performances.
The story – well I will leave that for you to discover. I will tell you there is a sacrificial lamb and one side does win just in the nick and at the end there is the famous Hollywood setup for a sequel. Hopefully it will not take another twenty years for them to make it for if they do they will most like not have this reviewer around to review it.
The score for this movie is more developed and balanced but lacks the uplifting qualities of the first one. It still manages to support the acting and the story line well.
I recommend this movie as good summer entertainment. Don’t go expecting the likes of La Traviata or Gone with the Wind. This is science fiction monster fun with warts and all. Enjoy!
PS. After the credits for the cast and crew the titles boasted that more than fifteen thousand jobs were created in the making of this movie and I believe it as I think the price of my ticket paid for most of their salaries.
 This may be a play on the term for the pitch and tar mixture used to seal the gaps in the planks of sailing vessels referred to as oakum. The mixture smelled pretty bad and thus the term brackish.