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Archive for the ‘Vivica A. Fox’ Category

independence day 2So after a 20 year wait we finally get the sequel to the 1997 motion picture giant that was Independence Day. The original film has grown on me as I have gotten older and more tolerable of certain things.  Both movies are Roland Emmerich films and usually his disaster films are not my favorite with the first Independence Day being probably my favorite of his disaster films.  As I was looking up the cast as the sequel approached I was shocked to see that there is no Will Smith in the movie to save the world.  However we do have Jeff Goldblum so I am no longer worried and am quite sure we will be victorious in the end.  Now my only question is will the movie be as victorious as the first one?

Its been 20 years since the first alien attack and not only is the United Earth Defense Force ready to defend, they are ready to kick ass, or so they think.    Before the celebration an alien probe enters around the orbit of the moon but it has none of the same features as the first alien.  Even though the some in the government, including David Levinson, played once again by Jeff Goldblum (Mortdecai,) ask that they wait to determine the origin of the probe, the defense attack it and destroy the probe. During the celebration of the anniversary of the victory of the first attack a new space ship shows up and it is much larger than the original ship and lands over the entire Atlantic Ocean.  It starts a drill that Levinson believes is designed to reach the core of the Earth.  The Defense Force has to find a way to destroy the ship or at least stop the drill or the planet will be destroyed.

The best parts of the film for me was basically my since of nostalgia.  I loved seeing Goldblum reprised his role as Levinson, who is now the head scientist of the Defense Force, and Bill Pullman (Independence Day,) who plays former President Whitmore.  I loved him much more in this film then I did in the original, and in this one he plays a man that is afflicted from being in direct contact with the aliens 20 years earlier.  Another one who is also afflicted is the old scientist in charge of the old Area 51 Dr. Okun, played by  Brent Spiner (Independence Day,) who has been in a coma since he was attacked 20 years ago.  Even Levinson’s father Julius, played by Judd Hirsch (Independence Day,) is in the film reprising his roll as the most Jewish parent since the mom of South Park character Kyle Broslofski.

However the movie did nothing to really advance any of their characters from the original film.  All of the character development is left to the next generation of fighters, which includes Jake Morrison, played by Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games,) who lost his parents in the original attack and joined the Defense Force who is also somewhat of a loose cannon, Dylan Hiller, played by Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall,) who is the adopted son of the hero of the last war Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith in the first film, who is killed in a test flight, and Patricia Whitmore, played by Maika Monroe (It Follows,) who is the daughter of former President Whitmore who left the Defense Force to take care of him.  I have now spent as much time on the backstory as the writers did in the movie.  In fact this entire film seems rushed as if they had 18 months to come up with a story and not 20 years.

Another issue is that with a few pieces and they are important, the story is almost a carbon copy of the original movie.  Aliens come and land, we attack first, which is different, but we still get our ass kicked, the same, the aliens head to Area 51, we set up a trap, it works, sort of , and after a close call, we win.  Just like in the original movie.  So much like people complaining about the new Star Wars movie, we waited 20 years to see the old story told anew with a few changes.  I also felt nothing for any of the deaths in this film which would include the new President Lanford, played by Sela Ward (Gone Girl,) and Hiller’s mother, once again played by Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day.)  I did feel a little bad about her death but only because of the nostalgia of seeing her in the first film.  There is another death that made me feel a little sad but I won’t spoil that for you.

The biggest thing that was missed from this movie that made the other movie fun was the humor that was mostly provided by Will Smith.  I have no idea why Will Smith decided not to do this film or if he wasn’t even asked, but he needed to be in it.  The humor replacements Charlie Miller who is Morrison’s co-pilot, played by Travis Tope (The Town that Dreaded Sundown,) and the governments accounting person, who I don’t remember his name, were both very poor substitutes, especially the guy whose name  I don’t know.  Judd Hirsch played the same roll that provided some humor, same as last movie, and Brent Spiner was the same and did the same, but not nearly enough to make up for the huge absence that was Will Smith.

The special effects are awesome and are better than the first although I am not sure if the Earth would even survive the landing of a ship the size greater than the Atlantic Ocean but I suspend disbelief on that.  The aliens look much better than the first time too.

Just like the first movie, I will probably own this because it is fun and we are going to get sequels.  The one thing that is better than the first movie is that I am the only one on the planet who hated President Whitmore’s speech.  He gives a much better one the second time around but to a much smaller group.  It’s not the worst movie this year, but its nothing special.

 

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id4***2016 update***

I reread my original review and I am somewhat embarrassed at it.  I was an extreme douchebag.  My feelings are pretty much the same in that it isn’t a great movie but its a fun movie.  Looking back I enjoyed Jeff Goldblum much more than when I first saw it and the same goes for Will Smith.

One thing I will add in comparing this to the new movie and it makes this one better, in the new movie the counting clock that was the alien drill digging to the core of the planet wasn’t nearly as menacing as the first film was when we just had aliens coming to our planet just to kick the shit out of us, and taking their time while they were doing it.  That is much more stressful to me instead of saying we got 10 minutes left to kill the queen or we are gonna die.  Just not as good as the first story line.

I still say that the big uplifting speech near the end of the movie is one of the worst in cinematic history.  I shouldn’t blame Pullman as much as I should blame the writers because it’s their fault and he did the best he could.  Oh and the update down below the original review is from when I loaded it to this blog in 2011.

Anyway, head down below to read the crap I wrote 11 years ago.

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(Review written in 2004)

This was an entertaining movie, but not a good movie. It fulfilled my sense of action and did have some funny scenes but overall it was very uninspiring and the aliens were about as intimidating as an 8 year old with a pair of curved scissors.

This movie gets its laughs from stereotypes and clichés. Judd Hirsch playing the most Jewish parent that film has seen since Kyle Broslofski’s mom in South Park. Jeff Goldblum and his computer nerd nature loving Al Gore wanna be pain in the ass hero/anti-hero. Oh and lets not forget the walking Stereotype Harvey Feirstein and his prancing around asking, “David, why did I send my mother to Atlanta?” The clichéd bad guy who is in charge of the CIA and the ineptitude of the military, who would have guessed that? Let’s add Brent Spiner’s clichéd and stereotyped mad scientist who works for the government, a classic.

Possibly the worst character in the movie was Bill Pullman’s President Thomas Whitmore. I swear this guy was a bigger wimp then Jimmy Carter and made the most uninspiring speech in movie history. If I was one of those pilots listening to his “independence day speech” I would have shot him and given myself to the Alien’s. Easily one of the top five worst speeches in movie history.

Now the action was great and the special effects, except for the aliens, were very good. Will Smith as an action hero is money in the bank. But the aliens were one step above the rubber costumes that we used to see on the original Star Trek episodes.

This movie will make its way into my collection but not because it’s good, but because its mind numbing. So remember if you watch the movie, take your brain out or you may become so incoherent, and unaware of reality, that you may actually want to vote for John Kerry at the next Presidential election.

(Update: It’s obvious by the last paragraph that this review was written in the summer of 2004.  But I still stand by what I said!  Oh and it did win an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, I guess they like the rubber suited aliens better than me.)

Brian – the Naked Gun

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