I know I have arrived a bit late to the party celebrating the release of Independence Day: Resurgence. Admittedly, though, most were not celebrating. Review after review condemned the film as pointless dribble not worth a person’s time in watching.
And as a die-hard Independence Day fanatic who had seen the original film no less than 100 times, I simply wasn’t ready to risk tarnishing its good vibes with a bad sequel.
So, I waited. And I waited.
Finally, the Resurgence graced my television screen, leaving me exhilarated at every turn, and wishing I had seen it on the big screen like its predecessor.
The story had known components, of course. As a sequel, it had to. The execution, however, played out differently. The new world order primarily following the next generation – mostly the children of the original main characters. All of whom, shy one, had at least a cameo in the film. For whatever reason, Will Smith choose not to be in the film. His character’s absence explained away with a death in the line of duty and continued honor as a hero.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from the film. Historically, sequels have a reputation of being nowhere near as good as the original. This was the expectation here too, from seemingly everyone. I went into my viewing with cautious open mind, and no expectations.
Maybe that made the difference. For what I watched was action packed excitement almost from the get-go. Big screen action, despite watching it on the small screen, entertained me. I laughed. I cried. I jumped.
I was appropriately confused when the audience was supposed to be confused.
Yes, there were moments of plot line resurgence. Isn’t that the point of a sequel – to pick up where the original left off. This film most certainly did that.
There may have been moments of following too closely to the genre specific formatting of the original Independence Day film. But in this film era, that remains a sad expectation. Even inaugural films of this era feel like sequels, with repetition and formulation. Interestingly, this film rebuilt the story in a way I did not expect. It took the hope left at the end of the original and shattered it completely before rebuilding it up.
In the original, hope lingered as a constant driving force. In the sequel, it did not. Instead, nearly everyone expected to die. They were just going to die fighting. It seemed they believed that obligation paramount to their existence – they stayed living on borrowed time anyway. Twenty years earlier, death to humans should have been eminent. But hopeful fighting spirit proved too much for the aliens on a mission for destruction. Now back, they seemingly know just how to destroy the hope that led the charge before.
That, of course, is before the 3rd species shows up. A final being in a previously destroyed people whose mission endures as hope for destruction of the parasitic locusts aimed at destroying planet after planet. A silver ball of light with all the answers, but not the final solution. That takes human ingenuity and team work from a rag tag team that has prepared for this day for twenty years.
As a story, there may have been some plot issues, but huge special effects combined with powerful messaging to make this film worth watching. Humanity no longer needs to fear anything. People don’t lack intelligence and when we put our mind to completing something, we can accomplish anything.
The most important lesson of all: humans really do not exist alone in the universe – other beings survive to team up with and battle that which ails us. In life, we all could stand to step back and remember that not everyone seeks to steal our resources, but if someone does others can help.
In the end, success is, of course, achieved. Hope restored, humanity can once again return to life in a new state of preparation for whatever might lay ahead.