If you’ve had the television on for more than five minutes in the last month, I’m sure you’ve seen a trailer for the upcoming Independence Day sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence. At this point, I think I’ve seen the trailer upwards of 50 times, and I have some issues.
Before I get into it, I think I just have to ask the all important question that everyone probably has: why make a sequel now? I bet people were clamoring for a sequel twenty years ago. It was a pretty dope movie. Will Smith was a NASA-rejected space cowboy seeking to avenge the death of his best friend Harry Connick, Jr. while simultaneously saving the world from giant aliens. That’s a top-15 plot of all time, right? And to top it all off, the aliens were defeated by a computer virus created by Jeff Goldblum in the age of dial-up internet. It truly doesn’t get more nineties than that. Not to mention the goosebump-inducing speech given by President Bill Pullman that I watch at least once every 4th of July. But that plot can only be successful once, right? I know everyone is making sequels now, but where can this one possibly go? I had high hopes when I heard they were making a second Independence Day, but I have some serious issues with the trailer. Here are my top 5:
5: Too many cheesy punchlines
I get that it’s a trailer, and that Independence Day as a film franchise (woah) can’t be taken too seriously, but the trailers have sounded too much like Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond films or 90’s sit-coms. “It’s the 4th of July, so let’s give them some fireworks” is literally a line in the movie. I just don’t think anyone flying into a battle against giant aliens hell-bent on taking over the world would say that. It might have worked with Will Smith, but I’m not feeling it in the trailer. Which reminds me…
4: Why is Will Smith not in this movie?
I’m sure the simple answer to this question is that it was a contract dispute, but I feel like Will Smith should’ve been the first one they needed to sign on. Like “hey, if Will says ‘yes’ we make the movie, but if not we put it on the shelf.'” His character survived two different run-ins with the aliens and punched one in the face. The Fresh Prince is the reason I wanted to see the movie, and nothing else.
3: Poor trailer song choice
One of the newer trailers I’ve seen uses the song “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. This is really only an issue with the trailer and not the movie, but why would they put a war protest song as the background to a film that asks everyone to fight in a war against giant space aliens? It makes no sense.
2: Isn’t this just the same plot as the last one?
The trailer for the new Independence Day just looks like they took old footage from the original and made it look more futuristic. The trailer includes the alien ships arriving, destroying major world cities, bombing some army base in the middle of nowhere, and (worst of all) re-uses the technique of the aliens communicating through a human while strangling them. The trailer feels more like a remake than a sequel, and that’s not a good thing.
1: How is the crazy scientist still alive?
This is what gets me the most. How is Will Smith’s character dead, but the old crazy scientist is still alive? It doesn’t even look like he aged! The dude was strangled by a giant alien in the first movie, but survived twenty more years? I was absolutely terrified of that scene as a little kid, but apparently he was just unconscious for a little while? Maybe this bothers me more than it should, but I feel like it’s a glaring plot hole that this guy is still around.
Final Rating: 2 Stars (out of Five)– I’ll give it two stars because Bill Pullman is one of my favorite fictional presidents, and because I don’t want to give up on this movie . But I’m pretty upset that I’ll have to sit through another sequel that ruins a childhood favorite.
Images: Cinemablend, Giphy
Original artwork from Benito Skinner