A month from now the eagerly awaited sequel to 1996's sci-fi movie Independence Day will invade theaters worldwide with Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman returning to help save mankind from the resurgence of the alien invaders that attempted to eradicate mankind from the face of the Earth 20 years ago. Independence Day: Resurgence will also see returning cast members Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner joined by newcomers Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, Angelababy, Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Fichtner.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, who also co-wrote the movie with Producer Dean Devlin (and Nicholas Wright, James A. Woods, and James Vanderbilt) Independence Day: Resurgence sees the return of the filmmaking duo that defined sci-fi blockbuster cinema in the nineties and the noughties with movies such as Universal Soldier, Stargate, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Critical opinion of Emmerich and Devlin's movies may range widely among science fiction fans, but there is no denying the duo's ability to produce and market epic cinematic set pieces destined to be, and best experienced on the big screen.
Many science fiction fans will look back with great nostalgia to the 1996 original which also starred Will Smith, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, the unforgettable Randy Quaid and the late, great Robert Loggia. Yet even when watching this movie on opening night in my local theater, sat next to a duo of pizza devouring morons, I couldn't escape a strange, familiar feeling. Independence Day, while having its typical Hollywood brashness to it, was a more seminal movie than maybe critics and fans give it credit for. Take the opening scene to 2012's Prometheus, in which we are shown a primordial world. Before we are introduced to the Engineer that sacrifices his life, to ultimately create life, we see a series of shots showing the shadow of something large crawling across the landscape - the very same iconic imagery (pictured below) that was used throughout 1996's Independence Day, showing that even Ridley Scott was influenced by the movie. But the movie itself was influenced by another that had come before it, long before it.
Critics have been keen to point out that Independence Day is almost an amalgamation of every iconic science fiction film from the 1950's onwards, but while sitting dead center in the front row (the best seat in my opinion) of the theater back in 1996 I could only think of one movie that Independence Day kept reminding me of, 1953's The War of the Worlds. The air of familiarity was there throughout the movie, but it was when the alien invaders survived a nuclear attack unscathed that made me almost say out loud, "This is a remake of the War of the Worlds".
Throughout Independence Day, there are numerous scenes similar to those in the 1953 classic that starred Gene Barry and Ann Robinson - the deadly beam weapon, the disastrous attempt to make peace with the aliens, but after the nuclear attack scene, there was one more that literally made me roll my eyes in its blatancy - When Jeff Goldblum's character David Levinson is struck with the idea, courtesy of his father Julius played by Judd Hirsch, to use a virus to attack the aliens technology. The comparisons to how the Martians were defeated by the germs, bacteria and viruses of Earth are so blatant one wonders how Hollywood gets away with such writing. We are taking Batman v Superman's infamous 'Martha' scene levels of stupidity here.
Don't get me wrong I loved, and still love Independence Day - the way the opening credits interact with my surround sound, Will Smiths many awesome lines, Julius Levinson calling everyone 'Vultures', David's gravel-voiced boss, Randy Quaid's iconic performance. Independence Day is a guilty pleasure that I am not ashamed in admitting to enjoying, its just that part of me wishes that Emmerich and Devlin had had the professional decency to acknowledge, at least in the credits that at the end of the day it was a reimagining of, an adaptation of the 1953 version of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
Independence Day: Resurgence June 24th, 2016
More about Independence Day: Resurgence (movie)
After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, Independence Day: Resurgence's release date is June 24th, 2016.
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