Independence Day

Happy T.G.I.F folks *smile*. The Rio Olympics are over and considering the controversies that trailed naija’s participation before and during the event, it’s any wonder that we have something to show for our outing. With our lack of preparation, I wasn’t expecting anything and was glad we didn’t win much, so that we can stop wasting money on our mediocrity and expecting miracles. It’s only my beloved Naija that shuns the preparatory process and prays to God to reward our mediocrity. Because the other countries that spent years preparing for the Olympics, don’t have the Almighty in their corner. But that’s talk for another day.


To today’s movie. It’s another reboot, twenty years later in fact. It’s the sequel to the 1996 American science fiction film, Independence Day, and this one’s titled “Independence Day: Resurgence”. The 2016 version was directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. And stars an ensemble cast featuring Liam HemsworthJeff GoldblumBill PullmanJessie UsherMaika MonroeTravis TopeWilliam FichtnerCharlotte GainsbourgJudd HirschBrent Spiner, and Sela Ward.


In the film, it’s twenty years after the first alien invasion and trust the Americans to have kept a couple of aliens for research and use their technology to develop some international military defense in case the aliens show up for round two. And of course they do, on the Fourth of July celebration.


The possibility of a sequel to Independence Day had long been discussed, and the film’s producer and writer, Dean Devlin, once stated that the world’s reaction to the September 11 attacks influenced him to strongly consider making a sequel to the film. In October 2009, Emmerich said he once again had plans for a sequel, and was considering the idea of making two sequels to form a trilogy. His plans for returning Will Smith in the sequels were halted due to Fox’s refusal to provide the $50 million salary demanded by Smith for the two sequels. Not bad Will.

Emmerich, however, made assurances that the films would be shot back-to-back, regardless of Smith’s involvement. Good for you, Emmerich! By June 2013, Emmerich announced that Smith would not be returning, noting that “he’s too expensive.“ Smith later stated that he declined the role due to scheduling conflicts with Suicide Squad, also in production at the time. On January 27, 2015, casting began with Fox offering the lead role to Liam Hemsworth.


Independence Day: Resurgence premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on June 20, 2016 and was released by 20th Century Fox in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D in the United States on June 24, 2016. The film has grossed over $382 million against its $165 million production budget.

Internationally, the film fared better and was released across 58 countries – 70% of its total marketplace – where it earned a five-day total of $100.1 million on 21,872 screens. It also performed exceptionally well in IMAX, where it recorded the biggest IMAX international opening for Fox, with $10.8 million from 533 IMAX theaters, breaking Deadpool‘s previous record of $8.1 million the same year. It topped the international box office for two consecutive weekends before falling in fourth place in its third weekend behind Ice Age: Collision CourseFinding Dory and The Legend of Tarzan.


Independence Day: Resurgence received negative reviews from critics, who found the plot convoluted and action sequences overblown, though some praised its overall humor. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 32% based on 182 reviews and a weighted average of 4.4/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “It’s undeniably visually impressive, but like its predecessor, Independence Day: Resurgence lacks enough emotional heft to support its end-of-the-world narrative stakes.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 32 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale.


Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave it a negative review, saying, “This should be dumb fun. It’s just dumb.Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 1/5 stars, describing it as a “planet-smashingly boring sci-fi sequel.” Dave Palmer of The Reel Deal gave the film 2/10, saying, “The final shot of the film is a set up for another sequel, and I just pray to God aliens come and wipe us out before that day comes.” OMG! Hahahaha! ROFTL!


Dan Jolin of Empire gave the film a positive review saying “spectacular as you’d hope from a sequel to the 1996 planet-toaster, and as amusingly cheesy. You’ll enjoy yourself enough that you won’t even miss Will Smith.” Other positive reviews included silly, stupid, entertaining fun, a refreshing antidote to the grim and the serious sentiment seen trending in sci-fi flicks of recent years. Emmerich stated that a third film will be made, depending on the success of the second one.

I definitely hope not! If this is the reboot, my dear director saw fit to offload to his fans after twenty years, then I’m positively not interested in another sequel. Couldn’t care less if the film was silly humorous fun, for me “Independence Day: Resurgence was in an exercise in boredom and confusion.” I concur that the aliens should wipe us out before there’s another sequel.


Wonder if Willy saw the “handwriting on the wall”, which would explain his real reasons for turning down the film, not that Suicide Squad was any better (See Post DC’s Antiheroes). But it was way much better than this…. I sp ent most part of the film trying to stay awake. You know the feeling once you’ve started something, you just have to force yourself to get it over with. This was exactly how it felt watching this movie. I’m thinking that maybe our directors need to stay clear off script writing and leave it to the real writers. And another word of advice: special effects can never take the place of a good storyline. But then, what do I know? I’m just a movie addict that loves good movies.

That’s it for this weekend. Please see the movie, regardless of my take. Who knows, you might feel differently? And keep sending in your comments. Bye peeps!


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