I’ve been avoiding watching this trailer. I know already that I’m going to see this movie, so I haven’t sought it out; I wanted to put off having to make a judgement call as long as I could. Well, it finally put itself in front of my eyeballs on Sunday when I went to see Deadpool, and I’m… tentatively excited?
You see, Independence Day is unironically one of my favorite movies.
The story is this: My dad, who is, among other things, a lover of the action movie, introduced me and my siblings to Independence Day when we were very small. It has been a Saika family favorite since; hell, my brother even did the President’s iconic speech as a monologue once when auditioning for the school play, and parts of it still bring a tear to my eye upon rewatch. The scratched off “today, we celebrate our Independ—” in the trailer made my breath catch in the theater, in equal parts “how dare they” and “oh, shit’s going to be real”.
I wasn’t sure what direction they were going to take with the film when I first heard about them making a sequel, but the trailer actually left me really intrigued because it seems like someone is—for once—actually thinking about their worldbuilding. The first movie ends on the celebrations that follow the destruction of the alien mothership, and a heavy-handed but nonetheless inspiring message of global unity. But what happens next? Apparently we harvest their technology, build up our defenses, and get stronger. Does that unity carry on past the celebrations? It seems like it—an alien invasion is a paradigm-shocking way to make us forget our petty squabbles with other humans, after all. Anyway, this tech-harvesting means it looks like there will be a lot more of a heavy sci-fi feel to this movie than to the previous one. On one hand, the whole “humans take on the Omnipotent Alien with nothing but their primitive Earth tech and human ingenuity and win” thing was kind of the point of the whole first movie; on the other hand, though, good worldbuilding means you don’t let your universe’s development stagnate without a very good reason.
While I am sad that Will Smith isn’t returning, it seems like they’ve got a good representative chunk of the original cast to come back, from Vivica A. Fox to Bill Pullman to the ever-iconic Jeff Goldblum and even Brent Spiner, who… I definitely thought he died? Doesn’t he die in the first one when the alien chokes him and uses him to speak to the rest of the humans? And seeing the diversity of the new members of the cast is also heartening; after all, for what was—even I can admit it—a cheesy Apple-commercial of a Roland Emmerich movie, the first film was about a Black guy and a Jewish guy teaming up to save the planet, and it’d be a shame to see that diversity lessened twenty years later. (Also, yay lady POTUS!)
Anyway, I’m cautiously excited for this movie, and seeing it will be a delightful present, as it premieres the day before my birthday. Don’t do me wrong on my birthday, Roland Emmerich; I’ve got twenty years of loving the first movie under my belt. I’ll make a badass speech and reverse engineer an alien computer virus and then punch you in the face with it as I deliver a cheesy one liner, and you don’t want that, do you? I didn’t think so.