Independence Day: Resurgence

I’m out of time as always for the moment, but I couldn’t not write a note about the sequel to Independence Day.

We went to see Independence Day: Resurgence last night[1], and it was just as hilarious, cheesy, corny and full of BSTs and explosions as one could have hoped. I saw a review of the movie before we went to see the movie itself, and I have to say I think it was a bit unfair.

[1] Mr. BRKN dealt with the babysitting of Wump, Toop and Wally like an absolute champ, even performing optional special-challenge tasks like bathy time and tooth-brushing with great aplomb. Hats off again.

Okay, so first of all, what sort of movie were these guys expecting? Yeah, I’m ready to basically disregard everything they said because their expectations were so stupidly unrealistic. Yes, this is a big dumb special effects blockbuster. It’s completely stupid and mindless. If whizzbangs for the sake of whizzbangs annoy you and you care about any level of substance in your movies, don’t see this. It has no substance.

But it was hilarious.

Second of all, the character interactions were terrible, I’ll give the reviewers that even though it should have been a foregone conclusion. I guess twenty years down the line, we all expect a lot more from our blockbusters. Or, you know, a bit more. Again, don’t expect anything but dumb stencilled paint-by-numbers box-ticking here. Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch were the only diamonds in this overflowing toilet.

id42c

Pictured: One diamond, and one thing you would actually expect to find in an overflowing toilet. Sorry Thor’s Brother, I’m sure you’ll improve.

The review I linked had an amusing rant about the “gay couple” in the movie, but Brent “Data” Spiner and his buddy were perhaps the sweetest and best-realised partnership in the movie. That’s not saying much, but there it is. Now, I was already pre-prepared to think of them as a gay couple, although everyone else I saw the movie with was like “those were the gay guys? I thought they were just wacky old science buds. The African warlord and the UN bureaucrat were the gay couple.”

And I can sort of agree with that. They had a fun character arc too. But the scientists called each other “babe” and nagged each other and smirked and they had orchids, that’s classic Emmerich-gay. Sorry. Remember the first movie, with the gay character who flapped his hands when he ran and said “I have to call my mother!” and ended up getting creamed by a car half an hour in? Yeah, there you go.

id42a

“Oh crap.”

Anyway, the criticism of the “gay couple” was at once fair, and stupid. No, they weren’t handled well. But they were an adorable pair of characters and they weren’t as dull as Pullman and his daughter, Pullman’s daughter and Thor’s brother, Thor’s brother and his nerdy comic relief bro, Thor’s brother and Will Smith’s son, nerdy comic relief bro and Chinese girl, Chinese girl and strict uncle, or that carful of pointless goddamn kids.

I could go on at length about the alien technology and how narratively convenient it all was, but I don’t have time. And I could wax philosophical about the ludicrous daydream of an alien invasion making the human species come together as a single unified planet and adopt smart technology and work as equals, but I don’t have time for that either.

So I’ll limit myself to laughing about Brent Spiner’s “We are gonna kick some serious alien ass!” one-liner and hoping that Independence Day 3 is going to be a reboot of The Last Starfighter. Because I would watch that.

A 3,000-mile-across spaceship landing on a planet, however, would depopulate the planet. It would be an extinction-level environment-changer. They wouldn’t need to send out ships, or drill into the planet’s molten core[2]. They just would have had to land. The movie’s plot should have been about stopping the ship from landing. We still would have gotten plenty of opportunity to see weird gravity stuff tearing cities apart, and watch the moon getting plastered. In fact, why didn’t the aliens just nudge the moon into Earth, then sit back and watch us get eradicated, and then go for the core?

[2] Although I understand that this was somehow fuel that they needed, so I guess they did need to do that. What every human character didn’t need to do, however, was keep calling it a ‘molten core’. Just call it “the core” or “the planet’s core”. I mean, for a start, we all know that the core of the planet is … well, it’s either solid, or molten but under such high pressure and density that it is basically solid, and that it’s surrounded by magma in the mantle and outer core, and so on and so forth. Continually referring to it as “the Earth’s molten core” made everyone sound like Doctor Evil. And not in a funny way.

id42b

They used a “laser”.

Yes, it could have been done a lot better. But damn if it wasn’t pretty. And damn if that ending wasn’t fucking hysterical.

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10 Responses to Independence Day: Resurgence

  1. dreameling says:

    Agreed. I actually totally completely agree with you about a movie for once. This was indeed a dumb, dumb movie with zero depth or texture, but it was fun to watch, and I quite enjoyed myself. And oh boy was all the destruction purdy. And the scifi tech was cool.

    But 18,50 euros for a single seat in the new Scape theater at Tennispalatsi? Fuck that. Sure, it was clean and comfy and very pleasant to sit in, but I noticed no difference in the image or audio, much less the 3D, which was, as usual, completely unnecessary (and even lessened the visual impact of massive objects, like planetary bodies and the mothership, by making them look like toys).

    Drop the price and bring in 4K 2D, and I might give it another go.

    • stchucky says:

      Holy actual shit, I paid €9 and then another €10 for a Rax buffet, and paid about as much as you did. I think I may have gotten the better deal. Also, we got a personal message from a clearly drunk Jeff Goldblum at the start of our film, encouraging us to see it in Scape. Did you get one of them? Because that was fun too.

      I have been wondering how in God’s name I managed to see the original movie at the cinema 7 times, and 2 times in Omni (Australian IMAX). I conclude that movies were way cheaper and I had way more spare time 20 years ago. So what else is new.

      • dreameling says:

        Well, I wanted to try it. Nobody’s ever accused me of spending my money wisely! And I’m not about to break that tradition now.

        (Plus Rax, man. I might almost pay €10 to not have to eat there. Not my choice of eatery. (Never tried the Flamingo one, but I imagine they’re all the same.))

        No personal message! Goddammit! (Although I guess it would’ve been pointless in Scape.)

        9 times? Jesus. Any other movies you’ve seen that many times in the theater? I think my record is 4 or 3 times.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh yeah, worth trying Scape, I guess. And speaking of worth trying, I lived here 16 years and never went to Rax. It was actually really good. So if you want to put €10 into my bank account, I’ll go to Rax without you.

        And yeah, no other movie comes close to ID4 in terms of cinema views. Video views too, really. Must’ve seen it on VHS another 15 times.

      • dreameling says:

        And yeah, no other movie comes close to ID4 in terms of cinema views. Video views too, really. Must’ve seen it on VHS another 15 times.

        Like you said, the amount of free time one used to have as a kid just… beggars belief. Maybe again when we’re retired? (Of course, by then, we’re hitting pause every 15 minutes to go pee and then fall asleep halfway through the movie. Not that we’d remember watching the movie afterwards anyway.)

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Well, as the sender of that review, and not being able to reply yet in email to the whole thing, I feel I need to defend it. See, recently I heard and saw a lot of people critiquing the ORIGINAL Independence Day movie just the same as this one is described, by all…including you fellows. But I really don’t agree! I thought the first one was great…loved the characters and the inter-relationships, and the plot was pretty cool. The Deus ex Machina was, of course, ridiculous. But aside from that, I thought it was a REALLY good movie, not at all how you or the reviewers are describing this ID4.

      So for me these criticisms of this sequel were perfectly fair and told me to save my money and my memories, and nothing said here has changed my mind on that.

      Also I’d like to add, something I haven’t heard or read yet but I’m sure I’ve just missed it: this movie existing ruins the nice closure of the previous movie. 1. That was supposed to be their population on the mother ship, so they were wiped out. 2. Even if it wasn’t, they have never faced resistance like us before, apparently, so surely they would move on and not come back to us. And 3. If I understand correctly, Brent Spiner’s character is alive again for this movie…I’m pretty sure he was considered dead in the plot of the first movie. Boo!

      So for all these reasons, even though they really aren’t the reviewer’s reasons, I agree with the slamming of this movie.

      My 2 cents.

      • stchucky says:

        Well, as the sender of that review, and not being able to reply yet in email to the whole thing, I feel I need to defend it.

        Hee. Bizarre, but okay.

        See, recently I heard and saw a lot of people critiquing the ORIGINAL Independence Day movie just the same as this one is described, by all…including you fellows. But I really don’t agree! I thought the first one was great…loved the characters and the inter-relationships, and the plot was pretty cool. The Deus ex Machina was, of course, ridiculous. But aside from that, I thought it was a REALLY good movie, not at all how you or the reviewers are describing this ID4.

        I liked both movies, make no mistake – but I obviously do not consider myself a great and cultured movie-snob. On the contrary.

        As such, I freely admit that the original movie had many of the same failings this one did. This one may have tried to check even more boxes than the original, and at least it had machete-and-AK-brandishing African warlord thugs instead of tribesmen with spears. That’s … progress?

        Seriously though, I can happily apply the same “all BSTs, no substance / all bantering one-liners, no script” criticisms to the first movie. I still liked it and don’t give a good God damn what the snobs say.

        Same basically goes here. My post should not have given any other impression – I’m just pre-emptively explaining why this movie will get shitcanned, and why I don’t really care. I’m just telling people not to blame me – and not to snoot at me – if they go to see this movie on the weight of my review and then it turns out to be terrible in their opinion.

        A lot has changed in the past 20 years. Independence Day ideology is not one of those things.

        So for me these criticisms of this sequel were perfectly fair and told me to save my money and my memories, and nothing said here has changed my mind on that.

        You lost me. The criticisms levelled at the first movie were unfair and inaccurate and you liked the movie, but the same criticisms levelled at this movie make you not want to see it?

        I guess I can see that, given the “it’s 20 years later and I want a different movie, some improvements, and I don’t think I can be as nostalgically uncritical the second time around, so I will opt to preserve my enjoyment of the first movie” angle. I can dig. If that’s what you meant?

        In which case, I also want to say that this movie didn’t ruin the original for me, at all.

        1. That was supposed to be their population on the mother ship, so they were wiped out.

        Sure, but humanity wasn’t in posssession of all the facts. Quite possibly, neither were the original aliens. But as far as I can recall (and having seen this movie in excess of 20 times, my recollection is pretty good), there’s no direct contradiction and only an implication that the original mothership was their entire species. There might have been an easy disconnect between Pullman saying “their entire species moves from place to place, like locusts” and “…and this is just one swarm of them.”

        In the wider context, this could also very easily have been a human/alien interface error in the treatment of the hive concept.

        It was an entire hive. And it was of a different sort to the harvester-hive we see this time around. So, entirely fair and passes my radar.

        2. Even if it wasn’t, they have never faced resistance like us before, apparently, so surely they would move on and not come back to us.

        Leaving a clear threat active behind their lines (particularly taking into account the bigger war picture that you couldn’t be expected to know about since you haven’t seen the movie, and the mobility that might offer us, as well as the technology they left behind for us to pick over in the first place)? No, I think it makes sense for them to want to wipe Earth off the map. Especially since they would have seen that they nearly managed to kill us with the swarm that came for us in the original movie. So even with 20 years of progress (that they have also made[1]), they should have been reasonably certain of victory. And again, I think they would have won, if they hadn’t been giant retards about it. Again.

        [1] And they were making war progress. We were making peace progress. Very different animals.

        And 3. If I understand correctly, Brent Spiner’s character is alive again for this movie…I’m pretty sure he was considered dead in the plot of the first movie. Boo!

        They shoot the shit out of the alien that had hold of him, and he wound up in a coma. I don’t think there was a direct contradiction of this in the original movie.

        So for all these reasons, even though they really aren’t the reviewer’s reasons, I agree with the slamming of this movie.

        ‘kay.

        One continuity issue that bugged me a little was that aforementioned African-warlord part. We saw the ship downed over Africa in the first movie, but in this movie it had landed, and had been sitting there ever since. For drilling reasons, apparently, not sure. Anyway, there was nothing about the big ships landing in the first movie … but then again, the humans were running on pretty gappy info and of course there would have been more than the one ship in Africa, it’s a big motherfucking continent.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “I liked both movies, make no mistake – but I obviously do not consider myself a great and cultured movie-snob. On the contrary.

        As such, I freely admit that the original movie had many of the same failings this one did. This one may have tried to check even more boxes than the original, and at least it had machete-and-AK-brandishing African warlord thugs instead of tribesmen with spears. That’s … progress?

        Seriously though, I can happily apply the same “all BSTs, no substance / all bantering one-liners, no script” criticisms to the first movie. I still liked it and don’t give a good God damn what the snobs say.

        Same basically goes here. My post should not have given any other impression – I’m just pre-emptively explaining why this movie will get shitcanned, and why I don’t really care. I’m just telling people not to blame me – and not to snoot at me – if they go to see this movie on the weight of my review and then it turns out to be terrible in their opinion.

        A lot has changed in the past 20 years. Independence Day ideology is not one of those things.”

        Well, I was watching a lot more movies back then, especially these blockbusters, and I am pretty damn sure in the context of movies 20 years ago, ID4 was a hell of a lot better movie than the same quality movie is now. That’s part of what I’m saying, I guess.

        I won’t mention other popular movies from back then, because I haven’t the time to get into a movie fight, but I can think of others that are still considered amazing movies today, where I would argue they are not much less silly than ID4 was.

        “I guess I can see that, given the “it’s 20 years later and I want a different movie, some improvements, and I don’t think I can be as nostalgically uncritical the second time around, so I will opt to preserve my enjoyment of the first movie” angle. I can dig. If that’s what you meant?”

        Yeah, you understand me bro!

        “‘kay.”

        I understand the movie has answers for my issues, and thank you for providing them. I should have said from the start, I don’t really care that it does. These are how I understood the first movie to be unfolding/concluding, and it made the movie great for me, and basing a new movie on changing what I thought was concluded in the first movie doesn’t interest me. It’s the “sequel” issue I frequently have…making excuses, however explicable, so that another movie and more money can be made, when the first movie was wrapped up neatly if you just stuck to what was concluded there.

        Now, if there was some sort of hint they were wrong, dropped in the first movie, that’s fine. To me, I mean. This sort of thing…is not fine. Again, to me.

        I mean, now I will mention a movie that’s on my mind but not in the context of what I wrote earlier, please…take The Matrix. It didn’t hint at a sequel, not really, but if you think about it…logically it could have sequels because the work wasn’t done. Anyone thinking about that world can see that.

        But then I would say, how did those sequels go, sugar? They work out well? XD

      • stchucky says:

        I guess I can see that, given the “it’s 20 years later and I want a different movie, some improvements, and I don’t think I can be as nostalgically uncritical the second time around, so I will opt to preserve my enjoyment of the first movie” angle. I can dig. If that’s what you meant?

        Yeah, you understand me bro!

        NICE.

        I mean, now I will mention a movie that’s on my mind but not in the context of what I wrote earlier, please…take The Matrix. It didn’t hint at a sequel, not really, but if you think about it…logically it could have sequels because the work wasn’t done. Anyone thinking about that world can see that.

        But then I would say, how did those sequels go, sugar? They work out well? 😄

        Well, exactly. If it doesn’t do it for you, it doesn’t do it for you. I wouldn’t waste money seeing a movie I’m not interested in seeing.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        And to continue on the discussion of the Matrix sequels, think of it as “fool me can’t get fooled a’gin”

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