Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Independence Day: Resurgence


Twenty years ago, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) led the world against an alien invasion and won (Will Smith was there too, but he’s not in this movie). Now the world has prospered with the technology left behind by their attackers and all seems at peace. But by piecing together clues from people with a psychic connection with the aliens (don’t look at me like that, I didn’t write this), Levinson and Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) surmise that the aliens are coming back. And come back they do, bigger, badder, and severely cheesed at the human race. Cities are leveled in grand Independence Day fashion and soon the American nation is rallying what little they have to strike back. Some of the people caught in the fray are Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher), the son of Will Smith’s character from the first film and a pilot like his father, Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), the former President’s daughter, her fiance Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) who was orphaned by the first alien attack, David’s father Julius (Judd Hirsch) who finds himself escorting some child refugees across the country, and many more. A showdown is imminent as new and old faces alike band together to stick it to those bug-eyed bullies… again.

Review: Independence Day: Resurgence was dumb, bloated, and eighteen years too late… but god, did I enjoy it. It feels like the movie that was made for summer, to get you out of the blistering heat and watching aliens explode in a cool theater. The new post-invasion world is pretty cool and fun to look at, even if it’s all CGI. The destruction scenes are particularly impressive; I don’t know if the gravitational destruction on display is scientifically accurate at all, but finding scientific accuracy in a Roland Emmerich movie is like finding a four leaf clover so I’ll take what I can get. There were also some cool new characters like the African warlord (Deobia Oparei) who has made a name for himself by killing hundreds of aliens with nothing but knives and his wits. Couple that with a pretty energizing climax and you’ve got a movie that keeps the blood pumping.

On the artistic side of things, this film is not exactly going to win any academic acclaim. In fact, objectively, it’s pretty crap. There are so many plots and characters jammed in that there’s not enough emotional investment to go around, especially with the loads of characters that think they are comic relief but are just kinda pathetic.. It also contents itself to crib plot points from the Aliens franchise, the aliens now under a hive mind and having a queen despite no mention of her in the previous movie. Speaking of, it doesn’t have nearly as many quotable lines or memorable moments as its predecessor, which is a huge shame. Most of the romances are incredibly tacked on, Goldblum and Gainsbourg’s characters lacking any chemistry in particular and yet we’re supposed to take it on faith that they’re meant for each other just because they share some screen time. Finally, my heart goes out to Brent Spiner, who walks away from this with practically zero dignity. If you ever wanted to see Data’s 67-year-old buttocks, have I got a movie for you.

And yet, despite all of its warts… I found it really charming. I know, by all accounts I should be insulted, but I left the theater smiling. I think part of it is that, unlike other mindless action flicks of late like Jurassic World and Batman v. Superman, it didn’t think of itself as more important than it actually was. It’s pretty much a B-movie and that’s all it tries to be. For crying out loud, Brent Spiner at one point says the line, “Time to kick some serious alien ass” with the same enthusiasm as a kid that just popped in his new video game. I can’t not love that. It takes me back to the time when action movies didn’t need us to think about them. Do I want us to return to those times? Of course not; I’d starve without action movies with some thought in them. But not everything has to be Mad Max: Fury Road or Kung Fury. Independence Day: Resurgence doesn’t have anything truly offensive or damaging to culture. It’s silly and dumb, but it’s my kind of silly and dumb. Take that for what it’s worth.

Fun Tidbit: As I mentioned, Will Smith’s character did not return because he was allegedly too expensive, so his character was allegedly killed offscreen. But there was one returning character who was not played by the original actor. Patricia Whitmore, the former President’s daughter, was originally played by Mae Whitman. There’s no real way of knowing the reason for the recast, but a look at some of the other names on the shortlist to play the character suggest that it was because Whitman doesn’t fit the standard Hollywood definition of beautiful. Not cool, Hollywood.

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