This was quite an unusual Fourth of July for me for several reasons. My eldest grandson, who is in the Marines, is deployed overseas. His brother, who is fresh out of Navy boot camp, is training for submarine duty. I’m proud of both of them, but miss their not being at the family gathering. Our little town of Audubon now has a piece of one of the twin towers from 9/11 and after the dedication of the memorial, my family and I headed to the theatre to see Independence Day: Resurgence. Did the film do justice to our love of freedom? Grab your flag and follow me.
Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to 1996’s Independence Day and like its predecessor, the film is a science fiction disaster film which pits Earth against pissed off and tech-savvy aliens. Directed by Roland Emmerich, the sequel stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, William Fichtner, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, and last but not least, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner.
The world and its inhabitants are rebuilding the Earth with alien technology from the previous battle with those nasty aliens. Twenty years have passed and we now have a kick-ass base on the moon. The captured aliens have been in some form of coma for the last two decades years. The former president (Bill Pullman) appears to be a shadow of himself and, we’re not sure if he is suffering some form of dementia due to age. His daughter (Maika Monroe) has given up her career as a fighter pilot for the Earth Space Defense to be close by her ailing dad. She is in love with a fellow pilot (Liam Hemsworth) who is always in trouble with his superiors for taking reckless chances. Will Smith is not in this film but Jessie Usher plays his stepson who is now an officer with the ESD.
It isn’t too long into the film until the aliens make their presence known in one of the biggest spaceships ever to grace the screen. This craft is almost as big as the Earth. They’re here to literally suck the life from our planet via the Earth’s core. This time, the aliens bring their queen. She’s big and she’s ready for revenge. We do learn something interesting about the aliens in that they have a hive mentality like the insects on Earth.
We finally get to meet the brains behind the hive and she doesn’t disappoint us. Except for the captive aliens that are seen awakening from their coma-like state in anticipation of the arrival of the mothership, the queen is center stage in the sequel. Each mothership has a queen and each queen is protected by a bio-mechanical suit and by the workers in her hive. Sadly, we didn’t get to learn more about these creatures, or the motivation for their attacks on worlds across the universe. We have no idea what they eat or what their lifespan is. I couldn’t help thinking about another queen from another science fiction franchise, Alien.
Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, seeks the help of Dikembe Umbutu (played by Deobia Operai), the head of an African resistance group, and a British doctor named Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who is researching the alien language and telepathic abilities. Together they scramble to find a way to bring down the harvester queen and her army.
If you were expecting a great space opera, then watch The Expanse or the Dark Matter series on Syfy. Independence Day: Resurgence is a great action film with lots of explosions, alien weapons and an unexpected ally. The special effects were a lot better than the script, but that’s okay because sometimes it’s more fun to eat junk food instead of a nourishing meal. Got it?
I went into this film expecting to be entertained and I was. I paid the ticket knowing that I wouldn’t get the same payback as I did with the film The Martian. But you know what? this film made me feel good and I’ll tell you why.
Remember me mentioning the fact that my grandsons are serving this country and about the 9/11 memorial in the little town of Audubon, NJ? It is humbling to look at that reminder, that piece of twisted metal inside a block of concrete. This centerpiece of our memorial was one of the anchor pieces from the North Tower. Every time I visit this memorial, I get a chill.
We Americans are known for our cockiness, our “can do spirit” and our attitude. When the terrorist attack happened in 2001, we did not hide and we did not cower. We are a nation of immigrants and we stood united. We stood as one people giving the terrorists the united middle finger salute.
I got that same patriotic chill when Bill Pullman’s character gave out the battle cry to fight the aliens. Terrorists, be they human or alien harvester queen from another planet, cannot survive mankind’s desire to survive and to live free. Thanks to a mysterious ally, I’m counting on there being a third installment of Independence Day. Go see the film and say thank you to our brave men and women in uniform.