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It’s been 20 years since the first Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day appeared in cinemas.
I vaguely remember laughing while watching Will Smith as the slick-mouthed protagonist fighting aliens. (Since E.T., when was the last time you saw a friendly alien in a film?)
To refresh my memory, I watched a rerun of the prequel and, yes, it’s still funny, nostalgically exciting and humane – everything the recent Independence Day: Resurgence isn’t.
The plot, in a nutshell, is simple: the aliens are back to take over the Earth. The humanity has prepared 20 years for the next invasion but the massive power of their present day tentacle-flapping enemy catches the Homo sapiens off guard. Anyway, the US tries to save the world. Again.
Jake Morrisson, a member of the Earth Space Defence, is the new hero in the making. He is played by Liam Hemsworth, an Australian actor pulling off an archetype of an American pretty-boy hero in a typical America saves the day type flick. The story is getting old and the modern CGI and 3D tech does little to save it.
The sequel includes many tired actors from the original’s cast, from the president (Bill Pullman) to the scientist in spectacles, David Levinson, played by Jeff Goldblum, and while Levinson’s father Julius (Judd Hirsch) spat some funny dialog in the prequel, a downgrade in the shaky script of the sequel turns him into a dry-mouthed fisherman.
The most captivating actor is Hemsworth, if only for replacing the Australian accent with an American, sounding now totally American.
Independence Day: Resurgence is a classic example of pushing the CGI over decent directing and a script, leaving the millennials with a 165-million-dollar mishmash while the director-writer-producer Roland Emmerich is forgetting that the modern audience has brains too.