I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. That feeling of being enamored and falling in love … not in the traditional sense. It happened when I was just a child, I think I still believed in Santa. Not sure. But there I was seeing my destiny as I sat in Sensurround falling instantly in love with my future hero husband, Charlton Heston (Who cares if there was an age difference) and realizing I had an obsession and passion for all things apocalypse.
Fast forward twenty-two years. Anyone that knows me knows I was obsessed with Independence Day. Absolutely loved that film, more to the point it was an abnormal obsession. “Yes,” I thought, “Why can’t there be more movies like this!” The movie jumped started my desire to create novels where worlds ended for various reasons. There have been movies since, I loved them, but they never hit that Independence Day threshold in my heart.
Fast forward … again … twenty years. The long awaited day arrived. I had been waiting for the sequel since it was announced in 2012, back when Will Smith was in his, “I’m in, nah, I’m out, nah I’m in’ Phase. I spent the entire week leading up to it watching the first movie over and over again. Despite warnings from my son to not get my hopes up, I got tickets to the preview showing.
Here is my non spoiler review. Anything I mention that you think is a spoiler was in the trailer or on the website …
From a writer’s perspective I can see where they originally had Will Smith’s character, after he bailed you can also tell, that Rolland Emerich put (Not so subtly) screw you references to Smith.
Granted I am a little pissed that Smith declined the movie. To me he bit the hand that fed him. He was in bankruptcy when he starred in ID. It made him a superstar. I don’t want to hear he was filming Suicide Squad. Early interviews with Smith said he didn’t want to take a chance on a sequel or another science fiction movie. Personally, I think, because originally it was supposed to be a father/son story line, Smith dropped because they wouldn’t cast his kid.
The movie starts out as they prepare to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of defeating the aliens. The world is united and we swiped their technology creating a super cool high tech civilization. Old favorites return, President Whitmore is a well respected loon, Dr. Levinson is now a commander of the space technology and Julius Levinson’s reintroduction scene is priceless.
We also meet new characters. I especially like the addition of Deobia Oparei
The first act sets up the story and doesn’t move as fast as you would hope. The movie is not what you think. It is not a reboot, it is not the same story line. It has depth, so pay attention to things that are said. Sometimes you’ll get caught up in the nostalgia of it, ‘Oh look there he is” sort of thing or the funny one liners and quips and miss the fact that are being given. Especially with the Africa scene give it your attention. So much is said that that comes into play later. There are two lines in that scene, spoken once. That two line exchange explains a lot.
And you may get teary eyed during the anniversary celebration, at least I did.
The movie isn’t all about destruction. They did that in the first one. This movie actually sets up the next one. (Not a spoiler they already announced a part 3). To say anymore about the movie would be spoiling it so I’ll leave you with this.
Was I disappointed ... no.
Did I like it …. Yes, really liked it, no I loved it. But I haven’t fallen IN love with it yet. I need to see it two more times.
Was it what I expected …. No. The trailers are misleading to the storyline.
The movie is a fun ride, often silly, but solid and a good sequel to a classic. Yes, I called it a classic.
It didn’t need Will Smith and he wouldn’t have made a difference. I would have missed Judd Hirsh more. If you plan on seeing it, you should. You won’t be disappointed and I hope it is such a huge success that Will Smith cries in his Wheaties.