Oscars, it may not win — we won’t discount sound design, and/or sound editing — but it shall win the hearts of millions worldwide, as it provides the follow-up to a beloved “event picture” from a better time. For serious, y’all, 1996 was perfect compared to 2016. There were no smart phones, but that’s what made ID4 such an event. It was an analog experience. Buying advanced tickets meant going to the theater, and paying in person. Roland Emmerich laid the cheese on thick, but damn, those VFX! THOSE. FX. Now, we’re ready for the return. Let’s do it!
10. It Has Been 20 Years
As mentioned, it has been 20 years since the aliens from Independence Day first attacked earth. As far as alien invasions are concerned, this is one of the better options for genre enthusiasts. The aliens were definitively hostile, looked pretty bad ass, and rocked some serious technology. The creative minds behind the first had talked about a sequel for years, hoping Will Smith might take initiative to champion the effort. Alas, that never happened. Even so, there’s something to be said for 10 year spans, and when a couple have gone by, people get nostalgic, even studios. Additionally, there was mad cash to make bringing back a story line that boasts legions of fans. We’re a little bummed Mae Whitman won’t return to play President Whitmore’s daughter, but at least we get several of the A-listers who made the first science-fantasy-adventure a popcorn munch-fest.
9. Jeff Goldblum Must Go Faster
Several people have seen the film already, and we’re not going to repeat anything that has been said, or anything that has been uttered on screen. That said: what’s the over/under on Jeff Goldblum shooting for the trifecta of “Must go faster, must go faster…” at some point during this film. If you’re confused, rewind to 1993, when Jeff was rolling in the back of the Jurassic Park Jeep, attempting to escape an angry T-Rex, while delivering the line, “Must go faster, must go faster…” Jump ahead to 1996, and Jeff cruising in an alien spacecraft with Will Smith, attempting to flee the mother ship, delivering the line, “Must go faster, must go faster…” Coincidence? Nope. It wasn’t. An underrated Easter egg offered by repetitive utterance. Fingers crossed, we hear it a third time! “Must go faster, must go faster…”
8. What Happened to Captain Hiller
Zip your lips if you know. Many people have done themselves a solid, and have avoided any trailers, or plot reveals regarding Independence Day: Resurgence. What we do know: Will Smith is not listed in the cast credits. So, what happened to Captain Stephen Hiller, the brawny hero of Independence Day? The sweet soul who purchased a dolphin circled diamond ring for his loving Jasmine. The goods…? When unsuspecting audience members hear what happened to Captain Hiller, there will be a few gasps throughout the movie theater. Frankly, Will Smith should have done this movie. It would have offered the career resurgence that he needed. A movie to suggest he doesn’t take himself too seriously–which he does–and he’s appreciative of his past achievements. They paid $200,000,000 for this thing. He couldn’t accept a smaller slice of that pie?
7. 20 Years of VFX Advancement
When Independence Day was released in 1996, it was fresh. The visual effects were mind-boggling in movie theaters. It took home video for people to really see where the artists painted on a grand scale, but at that, there were enough practical effects and stunts, the film still holds up today. Additionally, the play at sentiment in the original was devoid of saccharine, and pretty sincere. But back to the VFX. Yes, more artists are needed on films like this in 2016, and yes, these professionals are making more money, but $200 million means a lot of effects. We’re expecting that there was no expense spared on this aspect of filmmaking, and this should be some of the sharpest visual effect work in a 21st century film. It’s tough to ask for something new from VFX artists at this point, but we’re holding out hope.
6. Bill Pullman Is The Man
Can Bill Pullman do any wrong? Survey says: nope. Pullman played a perfect POTUS in the 1996 Independence Day, a former fighter pilot turned politician, who was faced with the security of the world, caring for a young daughter, dealing with exceptional circumstances for his wife ***no spoilers*** and being mind-ravaged by a freakin’ space alien. He did all of this without ever sticking his tongue in his cheek, nor forgetting he was in an alien invasion disaster action movie. He’s the man. And he’s back for ID: Resurgence. He obviously no longer the POTUS, but his insight will be invaluable against the persistent alien forces. We’re hoping he is offered the chance to deliver another sweet speech from the tarmac of a military base, before taking the controls of a fighter, and delivering the boom, but…something grates on the mind. Is something bad going to happen?
5. It’ll Be Disastrously Beautiful
Enough allusion to the budget of this monstrosity, let’s cut to the chase. A lot of money was needed to offer a host of VFX to Independence Day: Resurgence. We’re supremely confident this film is going to look amazing, regardless of the fact that it will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, including absurd scenarios, solutions to said scenarios, plot holes and the like. 20th Century Fox has done a stellar job of keeping most critics from their cash cow, and it’s rather obvious as to why: Resurgence is going to get subpar or lukewarm reviews from some know-it-all critics (most of whom have never made, or been a part of making a movie in their life). Why cater to pseudo-intellectuals when your film is asking audience members to check their brains at the door? Just offer up a visually sexy, guilty pleasure, and we’re happy.
4. Expectations Are Low
It’s really easy to get excited about Independence Day: Resurgence, because you’re not expecting the film to reinvent the wheel. It has been 20 years since the original, so audiences aren’t under the mindset that it will be a better movie, rather a continuation of a series with some beloved characters. Will it rival the original? Eh, that all depends on who you are, and how old you were when the original was released, or when you first saw it. To some people, they’ll love Resurgence more, based on a first summer blockbuster experience. Others will get nostalgic, and maybe even weepy for Will Smith, and the experience they shared in the original. Whatever the case, nobody should be expecting to walk out of the theater a changed man or woman–a child, perhaps. Resurgence is geared toward popcorn, and whatever candy you sneak into the movies on the regular.
3. Judd Hirsch
We need more Judd Hirsch. Judd Hirsch is a national icon at this point in his career. Kids don’t know his name, but if you flashed a picture of his face, they would say, “Yeah, I know who that guy is!” Judd is now 81-years old, and he’s still doing it. Not only is he doing it…he’s doing it well. He had such a knack for playing the character of Julius Levinson, the father of Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, it would have been more of a tragedy to lose Judd from the cast than it was to lose Will Smith. Those hero types are pretty paint-by-number, but a quality character, offering loads of comic relief and stereotypes? Rare gems. How much of the movie Judd will appear in, one can only guess, but we’re holding out hope that he’s in the mix of many scenes.
2. Liam Hemsworth Works As Heroic
The Hemsworth brothers have become beloved entities on the silver screen. They are physically appropriate to task, to say the least. Liam will have no issue in portraying a fighter pilot/astronaut, who is relegated to moon base defense, only to be called home when the poop hits the fan. The stakes are raised by the fact that he is main squeeze of former President Whitmore’s daughter, and likely the reason Mae Whitman wasn’t considered to play opposite. Sour grapes aside, we’ll have no issue buying Liam in the role of Jake Morrison, and we fully anticipate that he’ll be integral to saving the planet from complete, and total destruction. Kudos to Roland Emmerich, and the casting team: Liam was the right choice for the role. How much of earth will be left for a third installment…? It’s not looking too promising for the survivors.
1. The Sheer Absurdity of The Scale
For those who haven’t seen the trailers (or an early viewing of the film), and are holding out for all surprises to unfurl while snuggled into their high back theater chair, we’ll let you in on a little something without getting too detailed: aliens are coming to lay waste to the planet this time around. No, not just the iconic, American landmarks that were shown in detail 20 years ago, rather the entire earth. The aliens are squawking in delight as they bring the thunder and lightning with a ship the size of some planetary moons. So, prepare to suspend your disbelief, as these aliens are going to play with the natural laws of reality–the reality you accept. They’re gonna flip it all on its head. And humanity will set aside their differences to take the fight right back to the invading forces. Let’s get it on!