Film Review by Clayton Barnett
We always knew they were coming back. After 'Independence Day' redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Two decades on the blockbuster that blew audiences - and landmarks - away is back, with the Independence Day sequel bigger and louder than ever.
Roland Emmerich reunites with most of the cast from the original, bar superstar Will Smith (who wanted a reported $50 million for the two sequels), who would have really lent some star wattage. Emmerich also returns with most of the conventions of 90’s blockbusters too, which isn’t a bad thing as the spectacle here is just insane.
Emmerich plays up the nostalgia too, throwing back to the old hits from the original. Some are welcome and provide plenty of the laughs including the always-great Jeff Goldblum, kooky scientist Brent Spiner and our favourite President Bill Pullman. But other original supporting cast members just seem superfluous and you just have no emotional attachment too. Of the newcomers Liam Hemsworth’s roughish charm shines, but it’s unknown Nicolas Wright – as a bumbling government bureaucrat - who steals every scene he’s in.
While it’s easy to take pot-shots at the scatter-shot script - which is either hokum exposition or all-out action – the special effects are pretty impressive. They’ve come a long way in 20 years and with some help of Weta Digital, and a $200 million dollar budget, what it lacks in sense it makes up for in spectacle. There’s an alien v school bus chase scene that is just EPIC.
But now we’ve seen it all before. Back in 1996 Independence Day was a unique mind-blowing event movie – that at 16 I still remember vividly - but now it’s just one of a million bloated effects-heavy blockbusters. Of course we’re set up for a sequel but that all hinges on its box-office performance, but we won’t be waiting another 20 years that’s for sure.
20 years on there’s more spectacle and cheesy plot, with Resurgence playing all the old hits like a great covers band - but just leaves you wishing it was the original.
Releases: 23rd June 2016
Rating: M – Contains Science fiction themes & violence
Duration: 120 minutes
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward
Director: Roland Emmerich (The Day after Tomorrow)
Soon after the success of the first film, 20th Century Fox paid Dean Devlin a large sum of money to write a script for a sequel. However, after completing the script, Devlin didn't turn in the script and instead gave the money back to the studio, as he felt the story didn't live up to the first film. It was only approximately 15 years later, that Devlin met up with Roland Emmerich to try again, having felt that they had "cracked" a story for a sequel.
The movie has been given a $200,000,000 budget, $125,000,000 more than its predecessor, Independence Day (1996), which had a $75,000,000 budget and had a box office result of $817,400,000, making it the highest grossing movie of 1996.
Will Smith was supposed to reprise the role of Captain Steven Hiller, but Fox refused to meet his request for a $50 million salary for two sequels. Roland Emmerich confirmed Smith would not be returning for the sequel in June 2013 to Daily News, but mentioned that Jeff Goldblum would return to reprise his role as David Levinson. Additionally, Maika Monroe replaced Mae Whitman as Patricia Whitmore. Whitman did not officially comment on the change, aside from a re-tweet of a HitFix article on her Twitter account titled "The case of the missing Mae Whitman and 'Independence Day 2'", implying she was never approached. Ross Bagley, who played Dylan Hiller in the original film, had never been approached to reprise his role, either.
As of Wednesday 4th March 2015, director Roland Emmerich has confirmed that Jeff Goldblum will reprise his role of David Levinson.
Jessie T. Usher will play Will Smith's characters' step son in this sequel, while Liam Hemsworth will play Bill Pullman's character's son-in-law.
Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (Thomas J. Whitmore), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller) and Brent Spiner (Dr. Brackish Okun) are the only actors to reprise their roles from Independence Day (1996).
The project was officially green lit by 20th Century Fox on 27th November 2014
This is Roland Emmerich's first sequel.
The announcement of the recasting of Bill Pullman's daughter, played by Mae Whitman in Independence Day(1996), to Maika Monroe was met with much outrage. Fans expressed dismay over the decision across the social media. Most notably, Anna Kendrick, a close friend of Whitman, spoke out against the recasting on Twitter. The speculation being that producers believed Mae Whitman was not "conventionally pretty" enough to reprise her role. Whitman, who has had a very solid acting career including her lead role in 2015's surprise comedy hit DUFF, has remained mostly silent on the matter.