Monday, July 4, 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 - Not as good as the original

I found this installment high in special effects, but low in characterization and with a serious lack of attitude.

Among the best special effects, a UFO landing on the ocean creating a tsunami

What had made the first movie so dramatic and endearing was the variety of characters, their colorful past, and most of all, their indomitable determination to overcome impossible odds. They made us laugh and cry and feel at the deepest level. Not so for this resurgence. I didn't laugh or shed one single tear.

The African Warlord skilled with the machete, could have made a great character, but he wasn't developed enough.
In this sequel, fifteen years later, the new generation is taking over. They have been preparing for the return of the alien invader, and they have big shoes to fill. Because of their youth and inexperience, however, they come across rather flat, with no zest, no attitude, no rebellion, and very little initiative. They simply obey orders like good little soldiers with a bunch of cool toys. Their elders from the original movie, those who are still around in this sequel, have aged and lost their aura. It seems this entire world has evolved into boredom.

The new crew has big shoes to fill.

The aliens are still cool. They even have a few live ones locked up in Area 51

Even the dialogue has no memorable lines like "I ain't heard no fat lady sing!" I can't even tell a friend who saw the movie "Oh, and you remember the scene where..." Nope. Nothing memorable that grabs your gut. Only cool special effects.

Personalized posters for release in each city
shows that city being destroyed

The plot devices also seemed a little overused. The appearance of the probe at the beginning was very intriguing at first, but the reveal at the end was a complete let down. The same device was used in many other science fiction movies and TV shows. I will not spoil it for you by spelling it out, but this entire production suffers from a total lack of originality.

Apparently there should be another sequel coming next year, Independence Forever. I certainly hope it redeems this one.

As for me, I just want to see the first movie again. Here are a few reminders of what made the original movie so great:

The daredevils on a suicide mission, who laughed in the face of death

The drunken veteran pilot crop duster with a big heart who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the end
The human drama

The smart women - many more than shown here

I definitely missed Will Smith, playing the crazy SOB who lugged an enormous alien body through the desert, wrapped in his parachute, cussing all the way and kicking it once in a while for good measure. I think the actors in the new movie weren't allowed to express their greatness, locked into a mediocre story with mediocre dialogues, and that's too bad.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

No comments: