20 years ago we did not go quietly into the night, we did not vanish without a fight, we survived and we lived on. 20 years ago on the 4th July, in one voice we declared an International Independence Day as we defeated the greatest threat mankind has ever known in what has always been my childhood favourite movie. So jump forward 19 years and Independence Day: Resurgence was announced, it’s safe to say I was just a little apprehensive, after all sequels are never as good as the original everyone knows that, and with Will Smith not coming back I wasn’t sure it would be the same, and it wasn’t but that’s a good thing.
Earlier today I overcame my fear of the sequel and I sat down to watch director Roland Emmerich either ruin a franchise I love, or make me one very happy man and I was not disappointed. For fans of the original you’ll recognise a few familiar faces, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch are among the returning cast. They are joined by newcomers Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner and Sela Ward as we dive right into a world that has advanced way beyond our current technology thanks to the alien tech we salvaged after 1996.
But just as back then a threat looms and once again we are on the back foot and fighting for survival, however those of you expecting a re-hash of the original can think again. This sequel puts a refreshing spin the old tale, preserving the tension of the first film while adding so much more depth to what was just a simple Sci-Fi action flick before. Sure the formulas not changed much, but the story and execution are sufficiently different enough that that’s okay, because this time they have a new goal other than the total annihilation of the human race, we learn more about them, and about ourselves.
The performances from everyone are outstanding and even the same old humour has been retained, this is still very much Independence Day, it’s a natural progression from the first movie and yet stands alone as a great film in its own right, and for that I admire it.
This time the stakes are higher, the odds are lower and the story is deeper. I can’t honestly say it’s better than the first, but it’s damn close, and hell, I might be looking through rose tinted glasses but after that ending I’ll happily wait another 20 years for my threequel. If you love Sci-Fi then Independence Day: Resurgence is a must see, but if you haven’t seen the first then start there. It still holds up today, although if you can watch the VHS version and not DVD as they removed some stuff for the DVD.
Review by Callum.