With half of the world bitching about how the new Ghostbusters is the most unnecessary, horrible and pointless sequel/remake ever, I feel like they are all looking in the wrong direction. The direction they should be looking at is the new Independence Day movie. With the original 1996 version being a true Hollywood classic, we could have seen it coming, but the producers were apparently keen on beating a dead horse. A horse that could only spill out crap, so it seems. Okay so speaking of the ‘sequels must be bigger’ situation, planet Earth has been rebuilt after the last attack and even has bases on the moon. Because, you know, we’re suddenly advanced like that. However, the aliens were not finished destroying everything so they’re back with a vengeance. But BIGGER. And BETTER. As new generations prepare for battle, the old characters must find a way to destroy the mothership for good.
I thought after all these years that Hollywood would know better than to spout out films whose predictability levels are through the roof; although it’s still a pretty big thing, I didn’t think I’d encounter a film as stereotypical and predictable as Independence Day 2. From the plot to the characters to the landmarks, there isn’t a single creative idea to be found. The ‘bigger and better’ sequel trope is put in to the max quite literally, with a single UFO covering about ¾ of the earth and destroying everything on its way down; ESPECIALLY cities like London and Tokyo, because no other places on earth are interesting enough to see destroyed and those haven’t suffered enough already. Bigger and better also means more extreme sci-fi on earth. Where in the original we still counted on some rather realistic weapons and ships from Earth, so we could imagine what it REALLY would be like, we now see hyper-futuristic spacecrafts, buildings and technology. Very cute, but it’s only distancing us from the story. They wanted to put so much spectacle in the film that we shoot through the plot like a rocket, so we never get to connect to any of the actions and characters. A fatal mistake.
We get a fair amount of characters back from the original, but now added with a whole new generation, which gets very confusing. There’s about 8 storylines running at the same time, all either too small, too boring or too unnecessary to really be adding much to the enjoyment. We don’t have the fun of Will Smith to guide us through, so instead we have to deal with his kinda boring son. There’s also the most typical young white guy ever in the shape of Liam Hemsworth, who plays Jake Morrison (come on Hollywood, that name alone), a talented young pilot who has a problem with authority (ugh) and who is only good at doing risky things while making dumb sassy remarks. Doctor Okun is also back but it’s clear he only just woke up from a 20 year coma; his weird scientist trope is not something we still want to see in 2016. Even David Levinson, played by our beloved Jeff Goldblum and frankly the only character I was looking forward to seeing, has lost a lot of his magic and cannot help save this film. And you know that if even Jeff Goldblum can’t fix it, you’re really nowhere.
Sure, fair enough, the visuals of the film are pretty great. The big spaceship landing on earth is pretty epic and the mater familias of the aliens is a pretty terrifying sight. It’s plain obvious that all of the studio’s budget went into the visuals, it is the only reason why the rest of the film is so bad. This sequel is one that will (hopefully) be forgotten very soon, as it does the original absolutely no justice at all. You want to be angry at Hollywood in 2016? Leave Ghostbusters alone and turn your anger towards Independence Day: Resurgence. As even aliens would stay home from this film, this is one resurgence that we did not ask for and especially did not need.