“On this day in 1996, the world escaped the clutches of extinction,” President Elizabeth Lanford.
Apparently we should have known they would be back, but without Will Smith? It is twenty years later and Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is dead. The United States has joined forces with, and is now part of, an international community that has developed an early warning system to prevent the past invasion from reoccurring…or so they thought…
The kids are now all grown up. Remember little Patricia Whitmore? She is now working for President Lanford (Sela Ward) in the White House. Patricia (Maika Monroe} is now engaged to Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth). Remember the adorable little boy that called Captain Hiller and his mom out of the house to see the first space ship? Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher) is now a captain of an elite group of fighter pilots.
Through technology, they have built a stronger, safer world. Or have they? Independence Day 2 is all about fighting to regain control over an enemy that was never really destroyed. The alien queen has returned to suck the heat out the earth’s core for the survival of its own species.
While the earlier film was geared toward a more diverse age group, it’s quite obvious that casting for the sequel is aimed at a younger audience. Liam Hemsworth. Maika Monroe, Angelababy, and Travis Tope round out the major players in this sequel. Of course some of the characters return from the original movie. Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as David Levinson. He gets a new love interest in this film, but unless I missed it, there was no explanation of what happened with his ex-wife from the first movie. Bill Pullman also reprises his role as President Whitmore (well technically past president now). Judd Hirsch returns as Julius Levinson. Vivica A. Fox also makes a brief appearance in her role as Jasmine Hiller. Interestingly enough her career changed from dancing in the club in the first movie to nursing in the current movie. Area 51 is now the headquarters of the Earth Space Defense (ESD).
Great Movie Moments:
Independence Day 2 never lets you forget that it’s a sequel with many verbal references to the initial attack.
There is a portrait of hero Captain Steven Hiller hanging outside of the Oval Office in the White House.
The comedic timing between the original characters is great.
Not-so-great movie moments:
Aside from the tie between Patricia and her father, there seems very little interaction between the returning and the new young characters. This lack of interaction often left a disjointed feeling.
The warlord character seems out of place. There seems to be a back story there, but the audience is never fully introduced to it which makes it seem odd whenever his character is on screen. There is the constant feeling that something is missing and we are waiting for something.
Jessie T. Usher just does not have enough bass in his voice. He sounds too much like a kid, especially when he utters the movies "icon" lines.
Overall, I give the movie a 3 out of 5 stars. Independence Day 2 does not quite live up to the expected hype. It also didn’t receive as much press as the original movie, though I’m not sure it that would have helped the film.
Director: Roland Emmerich (Universal Soldier, Independence Day, The Visitor)
Rating: PG-13 Some violence, just a drop or two of blood. Mostly alien goo.
Run time: 2 hours
I paid for this movie ticket out of my own funds. I was not compensated for writing this review.