Independence Day: Resurgence (a.k.a. Independence Day 2) is like a hamburger. Your teeth will go trough a rough bread cover, to then find a good chunk of not too healthy but delicious meat, and finish with a thinner and less appealing bread base. In short: you end up full, and that makes you happy.
OBVIOUS WARNING: This post will include spoilers for the movie. All images are from the trailer.
I guess the first minute is a clear signal this is gonna be special: in a galaxy [insert random astronomical number] light-years away we see a huge alien ship receive a distress signal. We see holographic displays indicating this is coming from the fleet that fell during the first movie, accompanied by a short spherical clip of Bill Pullman giving his classic “we will not go quietly into the night” speech. The aliens somehow got a clip of that speech, then WeTransfer’d that to their queen for some reason. Gold.
The we get the movie’s setup: humanity is at total peace, and has made incredible leaps in science thanks to studying alien technology. Everything’s pretty peachy. But somehow, 20 years after world peace and so much cool technology, no one (save for a handful of militia men in a still-conflicted country in Africa) had ever noticed that one of the ships from 20 years ago had been “drilling” a hole into the Earth before falling. Said ship is pretty much in a very good state, and has been transmitting a signal that for some reason Jeff Goldblum (bless him) recognizes as an alert. I dunno. Again, NO ONE from a government agency or international joint-effort knew about this almost-intact fallen ship from 1996. Amazing.
Suddenly a huge wormhole opens near the moon and a big spherical ship shows up. While it doesn’t present any signal of activity or even signs of life, and even though Goldblum is very much against the idea, the politicians decide on the most American thing to do: blow it up, because America. So a small group of characters, both new and old, set up to break a lot of military rules to go and salvage whatever remains of this mystery sphere. Shortly after the same huge ship we saw at the beginning has arrived to our little space area and proceeds to fuck almost half the planet and drill a hole to steal our planet’s core. The alien Queen has come for revenge, boys.
Let’s make a pause here, because here’s where the meat begins. You don’t go to an Independence Day movie expecting ponies and a political thriller: you go for the aliens and whatever it is the aliens do, so this is where the “fun” of the movie comes. Everything from this point forward is mayhem, the destruction of many countries (including a fun representation of #Brexit) and the humanity’s attempts (and failures) at stopping this. This is the movie – and it’s pretty cool. One thing to keep in mind, though, it’s that it’s no longer 1996. Special effects that were mind-blowing and “Movie Magic episode-worthy” back then are commonplace now, so ID2 has a hard time at “wowing” audiences like it’s predecessor did back 20 years ago. That’s not to say that it is not fun watching the destruction, but a thing to keep in mind. I don’t wanna go over too much of what happens here because like I said before, it’s the meat of the movie, but we get the usual stuff: obliteration, evacuation of cities, failed attempts at attacking the Queen, stuff in Area 51, and more.
The “fun” detail is a subplot during the movie. Remember the thingy Goldblum salvaged from that nice, peaceful sphere ship that showed up on the moon? Turns out it is the last remnant (way to go, America) of a civilization that has made it their personal mission to stop the aliens and save civilizations that have been threatened by them. The alien Queen wants this at all costs, so we protect it and mount a decisive trap to lure her out in order to win the war. This, as expected, works. Queen dies, the hive-mind is down and so is everything else. And so we come to the thin bread that sits at the end of the burger.
While originally dismissing humanity and even considering suicide (I mean, we are the race that blew up the very thing that came to save us), it eventually sees us being successful and now wants to help us. I am sorry, did I say “help”? I meant “make us the coolest thing in the universe”. Heck, we are the first thing in the universe to ever kill an alien Queen (really?) so now it wants to prepare us to take the battle to the aliens and, as the final line in the movie goes: “kick some serious alien ass“. Cut to credits. Yeah. Never mind that despite defeating the Queen and every alien suddenly losing their connection – ships falling from the sky – there’s no explanation why the mother ship simply stops drilling and starts flying away… on its own? Who cares! The heroes are once again walking in the desert, just like the first movie… no fireworks this time, though.
“So, you’re saying I shouldn’t watch it?”
No. Go watch it. No amount of plot holes can deny the fact that it’s always fun to watch a huge-ass alien ship destroy earth. And that’s why you go watch an Independence Day movie.
Oh, and Will Smith’s character? The ace pilot hero from the first movie? Died during a test flight sometime between both movies. But hey, he has a portrait in the White House, so that’s cool, right?