We’re only one month away from April, which means summer blockbuster season is getting near. With so many big movies coming out, including X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, and the new Ghostbusters reboot, it’s hard not to have summer movie fever. One of the more surprising extravaganzas that’s slated to hit theaters this summer is Independence Day: Resurgence, a sequel to the 1996 box-office hit. The big debate circling the movie is if it’s going to duplicate its predecessor’s success, or horribly crash and burn like the fallen alien invaders from the original.
It might be a long shot, but Independence Day: Resurgence could be the return to the traditional summer blockbuster we’ve all been waiting for. Those involved may have waited a bit longer to bring us a sequel (the other Clinton was still in office when the last one came out) but there’s still plenty of reasons that this could be a giant success, or at the very least an entertaining popcorn movie.
Here are 10 Reasons to Get Excited for Independence Day 2: Resurgence!
10. The Special Effects
While the quality of the story and acting is still up in the air, what Resurgence is guaranteed to not have is bad special effects. With an estimated budget around $200 million, you know you’re going to see some mind-blowing FX in theaters come June. Let’s just put it this way, Ex Machina, which just won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, had an estimated budget of only $15 million. Imagine what Independence Day is going to crank out with more than 10 times the money.
Of course, Ex Machina was a sci-fi movie with a brilliant vision, cast and direction which complemented the gorgeous effects it had. You can’t just blow your entire budget on explosions and fighter jets without any thought process behind it. It all depends on the vision of the director to bring out the best in the film. The first movie was a smash hit because it featured special effects that no one had seen before, so let’s hope that Resurgence has that same level of creativity to bring us something that makes us gasp once more.
9. The Alien Technology
At the time of its release, Independence Day was a somewhat realistic portrayal of what would happen if the world was invaded by killer aliens. When the invasion hits in 1996, the human race is vastly underprepared. The aliens have warships with impenetrable shields that fire laser guns. Humans have regular military fighter jets that used missiles that go boom. Still, with a little help from crazy Randy Quaid, the humans were able to bring down the entire invasion fleet. The ending shots of the movie show the gigantic spaceships crashing into different countries around the world, and what looked to be one hell of a cleanup day.
As we can see from the trailers of Resurgence, aside from cleaning them up, the humans were able to salvage a good deal of the alien technology. With it they build more advance weapons and fighter jets that Jeff Goldblum’s character says to “strengthen our planet.” That means that this time, when the aliens come around, the humans will also have protective force fields and laser guns. This is a great concept that brings us to the question: what would humans do with alien technology? It is a logical step in a post invasion world that should be intriguing to explore.
8. Everything’s Bigger
If we’re talking summer blockbusters, the bigger the better. One movie knocks down a building, another destroys a city. One film has monsters the size of a house, another makes them the size of a football stadium. Big action movies will always try to one-up each other, and this is never truer than in sequels. So if the spaceships in the first Independence Day were the size of cities, what is the next logical step for outdoing that?
By making them the size of continents of course! At the end of the first trailer returning actor Jeff Goldblum looks into the eyes of a humongous alien spaceship and pronounces, “That is definitely bigger than the last one.” The same could be said about every element of Resurgence. Everything in the movie looks like it’s been kicked up a notch, as it should with every good sequel. If the stakes aren’t raised, then why would I bother watching the continuation of a story? This time the aliens are back and they look bigger and scarier than ever. They’re sporting more sophisticated technology, but so are we. The film is going to be more intense, more bombastic and 10 times more over-the-top than the original.
7. It’s Not a Comic Book Movie
It’s no secret that comic book movies, generally speaking, have been killing it at the box office for some time now. Deadpool shattered records for R-rated comic book movies last month and there’s plenty more to come in 2016 including the anticipated Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Captain America sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, etc.. Needless to say Hollywood has found their golden goose, leaving traditional blockbusters lagging behind in the dust.
2015, however, found some new life blood in movie hits that weren’t comic adaptations, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Furious 7. Granted, all these movies were sequels to long-standing franchises, but they were sequels lifted off of film, and not comic pages. Independence Day: Resurgence is another sequel, but it’s a continuation of a movie that was released 20 years ago. With superhero fatigue settling in, it will be nice to have a movie that follows the characteristics of a traditional blockbuster. If it’s anything like the original then we’ll have another big hit when Resurgence is released this summer.
6. Captain Hiller’s Legacy Lives On
When people heard that Independence Day was finally getting a sequel, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds was if Will Smith was going to return. The character Captain Hiller in the 1996 original was an obvious standout that helped Smith’s career literally launch into the stratosphere. As it turns out Smith chose not to reprise his role. What’s worse is that according to an official site, the character supposedly died when testing new alien technology between the events of the first movie and this one. That means there’s no chance of Captain Hiller returning, which, needless to say, bummed out some fans.
The good news is that Hiller’s legacy will live on in actor Jessie Usher who will be playing the fallen Captain’s step-son. From the trailers, Dylan Hiller has followed in his adopted father’s footsteps and will be a fighter pilot looking to kick some alien tail. It’s even more interesting to see that he will be sharing some scenes with Jeff Goldblum, which will no doubt be reminiscent of the first movie. One of the key ingredients of Independence Day was the buddy-buddy dynamic of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, so it will be nice to hopefully see that sort of relationship again here.
5. It’s Not a Reboot
Along with overproportioned sequels, Hollywood loves the reboot. It’s like a do-over button if your franchise ever shoots itself in the foot. Batman got one, Planet of the Apes got two, and 2017 will see the second reboot of the Spider-Man franchise in five years. If you’re out of ideas creatively, but still want to cash in on that intellectual property, reboots are Hollywood’s go-to option. What’s refreshing about Independence Day: Resurgence is that it’s a direct sequel that features most of the original cast. The production company could have hit the do-over button, but instead they went with the continuation of the story and paid homage to what made the first film such a success.
Resurgence features almost all of the main players from the first movie, minus Will Smith and Randy Quaid. It’s exciting to see where these characters lives have gone since the catastrophic events in 1996. Are the aliens coming back for revenge? Are these even the same aliens at all? What has Jeff Goldblum’s character David Levinson been up to? How have we used the alien technology to strengthen our defensive? It will be rewarding for the audience to see the aftermath from the first film and the continuation of the story instead of wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch.
4. Roland Emmerich is Returning to Direct
Emmerich has a bit of a shaky track record. On the one hand he brought us Stargate, Independence Day and The Patriot, which are all solid action flicks. On the other hand he’s brought us Godzilla (1998), 10,000 BC and 2012 which are generally hailed as mindless entertainment for the sake of mindless entertainment. Emmerich is known for directing big-budgeted blockbusters that feature loud explosions, intense action sequences, familiar character tropes and a straightforward plot. While he’s obviously not the guy to direct Spotlight, he is the ideal director for Independence Day: Resurgence.
Let’s be honest, big budget summer movies like this aren’t watched because of their highly cerebral plot or detailed character arcs. Emmerich specializes in movies that focus on bombastic action and Resurgence looks like it’s going have plenty of action. It’s comforting to know that an experienced director who is used to handling big budgeted movies is at the helm. The bigger plus is that he was also the director of the first Independence Day. Who would know more about the characters, the action and the story than Emmerich himself.
3. Bill Pullman is Returning
The man who gave the original Independence Day its lifeblood, Mr. Bill Pullman. In the 1996 original Pullman played Thomas J. Whitmore, a U.S. President that wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. After losing his wife, his Chief of Staff and the White House to the alien invasion, Whitmore was still able to organize a worldwide counter attack on the enemy. Needless to say most Presidents probably would have buckled under the pressure, but not Whitmore, who even pilots one of the fighter jets during the worldwide attack. Now that’s a President.
A big part of why the character worked was the performance put in by Pullman. The actor often gets slammed for being forgettable (just YouTube Family Guy and Bill Pullman) but he was really the glue that held Independence Day together. How can you watch that speech and hear “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” and not get all patriotic and emotional? Goldblum and Smith usually get all the praise from the 1996 original, but Pullman really brought it all home with that speech. It’s good to hear then that the actor will be reprising the character in the upcoming sequel. While he is no longer President, he still appears like he’ll play a vital role, even with a freaky Randy Quaid-ish beard.
2. The Trailer
As we know, most recently from Ghostbusters, a trailer can make or break a movie. It has one goal and one goal only; make the audience interested. Show the viewer why they want to go see this movie, but be careful not to give away the best parts of the film. It has to capture what it’s all about in a short two-minute span, which is easier said than done. That being said, Independence Day: Resurgence has a great trailer. It does exactly what it should and makes the audience interested, about a sequel to a movie that was released 20 years ago.
It features a surprisingly dark tone and several great money shots. Human and alien spaceships are seen dogfighting each other next to humongous set pieces. Giant alien warships are perceived crashing violently into the Earth. Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth dodge meteors on what looks to be the moon while witnessing a continent-wide spaceship plummet into the planet. The best part: Bill Pullman’s speech from the first movie is played over the entire sequence cuing up an overpowering sense of nostalgia in the viewer. It’s a trailer of mammoth promises that the film will hopefully deliver on.
1. Jeff Goldblum Rides Again
Who needs Will Smith when you have Jeff Goldblum? People forget, but Goldblum was a major star in the 80s and 90s with roles in Jurassic Park, The Fly, and, of course, Independence Day. The charismatic star usually played the quirky scientist who uses his smarts and intellect to win the day. In a mild form of typecasting, the first movie had the actor play fictional character David Levinson, an MIT graduate. Levinson is responsible for lowering the alien shields long enough to plant a virus on board the enemy mothership. Saving the day once more, Goldblum and Will Smith were the obvious MVPs of the first Independence Day.
As fate would have it, Goldblum will once again be playing David Levinson in Independence Day: Resurgence. Goldblum’s on-screen talents will obviously be a big boost to the belated sequel. The actor is always a joy to watch on screen for his sharp wit and snarky quips, and usually steals whatever scene he’s in. Goldblum’s performance as Levinson will hopefully be a big one that drives the story forward in a meaningful way.
Sure, Independence Day: Resurgence is a definitely a sequel we never saw coming, but it’s a sequel that could still work. With everything we’ve seen so far this is shaping up to be one of the more promising releases this summer that not only builds, but improves on the original movie. So make sure on June 24th you declare in one voice, “We will go to the movies tonight!” Live on, survive, and celebrate Independence Day: Resurgence!