Sadness and all things horrific seem to be the theme of 2016. I mean really, you can’t watch the news without having to get drunk or feeling the need to take a Xanax afterwards. Every news outlet appears to be in a competition of Who Can Make The World Appear More Bleak? The only thing that rivals the news is social media. “Tom Anderson just ate 5 gallons of Neapolitan ice cream, LOLOLOLOL”; gone are the days when you could read a post like that and think ‘who cares?’ The trendy thing now is to be a depressing, politically correct know-it-all who finds the saddest news from the darkest part of the globe, adds their take on it and shoves it down all of their Internet friends’ throats, consequently invoking a war of words between other know-it-all’s, each knowing more than the other, making us all despise the evolution of social media, the Internet, and mankind. Our only escape from this reality is the couple of hours we’re in a movie theater where everyone is forced to put their phones down and shut up. And what options has Hollywood given us to escape the madness? Horrendous remakes and sequels to movies that were brilliant two decades ago, bleeding a film franchise completely dry until all that’s left is its corpse depicting our lack of creativity and inability to go out on a high note. The list of death blows to classics goes on but today I’ll be talking about the newest Independence Day, almost an exact replica of the original only this one is painful to watch.
Here’s a quick, and hopefully less painful, recap: former president Bill Pullman gets mentally invaded by the aliens and discovers their plan to attack earth – I was under the assumption that attacks came without warning but clearly the aliens are more sophisticated and polite than us humans. So Bill tries to warn the president (a woman) who, at the time of his revelation, is having a big celebration in honor of the 20 year anniversary of the defeat of the aliens. He interrupts the event only to be shooed away; then, long story short, the aliens attack. Oh! Remember the scientist from the 90’s Independence Day, the one that we thought died after the alien strangled him in order to speak through him? Well he survived, turns out he lapsed into a coma FOR 20 YEARS. And to make it more believable, upon the aliens newest attack he springs to life as though waking from a light nap. That’s correct, fully awake and ready to get back to science. He remembers everything from 20 years ago as well, and leads his scientist friends back to an alien that was captured way-back-when and has been stored at Area 51. Now, it’s not one of those aliens you understand, but a different kind. Think Glenda the Good Witch of the South in the shape of a large white globe that looks as though it was designed by Apple. So after waking the iAlien it proceeds to tell them they’ve pissed off the aliens, there’s an even bigger queen coming for them, same rules apply as last time because this is essentially the same movie, only this one could have been a straight-to-DVD. And even though we attacked and captured her for no reason, SIRI says she’ll help.
In between all of this nonsense new characters are introduced and random things happen: Vivica Fox dies (in fact her part in the movie is so small you’ll forget she was in it by the time you leave the theater), Jeff Goldblum goes to the moon (humans work up there now, FYI) and fighter pilots attack the aliens. And after some poor decision-making and failed attempts to kill the aliens the president either gets killed or leaves the planet because at one point the US General becomes president. Not to get all School House Rock on you but we need to take a step back. I’m assuming the scene that explains the need for the US General to become president happened during a restroom break because I was very confused when I saw him getting sworn in. The US General isn’t even in the order of succession – I think the janitor gets a shot at being the president before the US General does. In order for him to acquire that title it would mean that everyone died; if you were at the White House sorry, you died. So to recap: former president Bill Pullman managed to survive the White House invasion 20 years ago when there was no social media or smart phones to provide aide or warning, but the woman president dies along with her entire cabinet in an age where we know what’s happening before it happens.
Anyway, here are some more things that happened. Jeff Goldblum and a new character, a woman he used to date, discover that everyone who’s been having alien visions draws a symbol, not just any symbol, but a symbol that closely resembles the power button on Apple products. At this point the movie was starting to resemble a subliminal Apple ad. The only thing missing was the spelling of the movie: iNDEPENDENCE DAY. Next there is the need for someone to sacrifice themselves by flying into the mothership and blowing it up, so Randy Quaid Bill Pullman volunteers, and NOW all of the aliens are dead (or at least we hope so). The end. Thank Christ.
But Jenn, your recap made absolutely no sense. Yes, I know. Neither did the movie.
But Jenn, I saw the movie and that’s not exactly how it happened. You’re probably right but you have to admit that this was the gist of it.
Look, I get it, great scripts are hard to come by especially when our generations’ screenwriters are busy Instagraming photos of their work space rather than writing. But there has to be a better way, there has to be a good book that would make an incredible big screen adaptation. It doesn’t all have to be remakes, and for god’s sake leave the cheesy sequels to Sharknado.