About twenty years ago, I brought my two sons, Andreas and Ivan, then three and four years old, to watch Independent Day and we enjoyed it tremendously. So even with the poor review for Independence Day (ID) 2, we decided for nostalgia sake, to repeat the same experience, this time with my youngest son, Aaron, 16, who has never watched ID before.
It’s twenty years later and like mine, the kids who were in the previous movie have grown up. President Whitmore, who had declared “Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!” in 1996 is frail and being looked after by his daughter Patricia, who forsakes her flying career for her father. Dylan Hiller, son of Will Smith’s Character Steven Hiller, is a star pilot, whose father was killed. Then there is Jake, Patricia’s love interest, who is stationed somewhere out of space, reporting to Singaporean actor (I have to add this in!), Commander Jiang.
The Aliens have awakened suddenly, because the Bee Alien hadn’t been killed and they are launching an attack. The prisoner-Aliens who had been captured and thought to be unconscious wake up celebrating. You would have thought after twenty years, our technology have improved so much such that we can defend against the Aliens, after all, Jake zooms from space to earth in record time and we have flying objects hovering about around us, but the humans are told that we are in fact primitive. And that becomes a reality when we see Singapore (!!)’s beautiful MBS sky line being sucked up and destroyed.
Everything in ID2 plays like the original, except it bigger now, and less funny without the partnership of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. President Whitmore made the ultimate sacrifice to fly inside the Alien to destroy the shield, like the first ID’s unorthodox hero. There is also another unorthodox hero, an African village head who joins in the fight.
Comparison between the first and second movie is expected and I definitely like the first one more as it was funnier to balance out the gloom and doom. But for Aaron, his first experience with ID2 must have been an exciting one.