Bank on nostalgia or watch it afresh. Either way,
director Roland Emmerich makes enough references to what happened 20 years ago
to bring you up to speed.
The aliens are back with revitalised wickedness after
20 years. America meanwhile has got itself a female President who, like all the
women in the franchise, contributes little. In fact she even makes a wrong call
and it’s up to former President Whitmore to put his life on the line and lead
the charge. Old is gold it seems for Dr Brackish Okun has woken up just in time
from a long coma to read and connect the dots about the aliens. And since the
earth has become a peaceful planet which is wishful thinking, the pot-pourri
of players includes Chinese and Africans in the team against the nasty
A mother ship larger than 3000 miles in dimension has
reached our atmosphere, war-ready and evil in intent. A friendly alien who’s
visiting us and is the only survivor from her world explains that the bad
aliens have been systematically destroying other planets to rob them of their
molten core. Earth is their new target.
But we’ve been studying them for 20 years, so we’re
better prepared this time. After the initial mayhem where entire cities are
swallowed up and swept away, satellite engineer David Levinson who’s still on
the job, and other contributors crack the right strategy. The alien ship is
like a hive. Destroy the Queen and the rest will fall.
While the global devastation is being fought, boys
will be boys. There’s young blood from Liam Hemsworth who’s engaged to
President Whitmore’s daughter, a testosterone track with Jessie Usher as Will
Smith’s son Dylan and an American-Chinese romance brewing. All this provides
relief while the battering in the skies and on earth gets more and more
Jeff Goldblum as Levinson who’s busy saving the earth
has a busload of kids as cheerleaders. He also serendipitously catches up with
his father who’s rescued the kids and has energy left at the end of it for
chemistry with female colleague Catherine.
But more than the human stories, it’s the visual orgy
that builds the climax. You’d better get used to it for the next instalment already
has a plot in Dr Okun’s last word after the aliens have
been defeated again. Says he, we’re going into inter-galactic war and we’re
gonna kick some serious alien ass.
For a film that delivers splendour and entertainment
for two hours, Independence Day
Resurgence gets a 3* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author