HOT or NOT: Independence Day 2 (The Movie, Not the Holiday)

“We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

I don’t remember the first time I watched Independence Day (1996) or how many sick days I have spent watching Will Smith say “Welcome to Earth,” but I do know this: Independence Day was one of the greatest movies ever made. While it’s true that my unsuspecting, 10-year-old self vehemently believed the film accurately represented the origins of 4th of July (we didn’t reach the textbook chapter on American Revolution until middle school), my appreciation for the film remains strong even after learning the truth. So, when Roland Emmerich announced a sequel to the film set to premiere in July of 2015, I experienced a sudden flurry of emotions. The word “sequel” strikes fear in my heart because sequels are usually never even remotely good. As I read more details, I became more confused about the whole thing until I decided to write all my thoughts down and post them on the Internet because that’s what we do now, right?


Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will be returning.

When rumors began circulating of Jeff Goldblum’s death in 2012, I went through 3 tissue boxes and a whole Jurassic Park marathon before realizing the story was a hoax. The actor, who played David Leviston in the first Independence Day installment, has supposedly agreed to return in the sequel, along with Bill Pullman, the youngest and most attractive fake US President we’ll ever have.

Maybe the kids will save the day.

Look how cute Will Smith’s character’s son was in the first film:

Wouldn’t you want to see little Dylan grow up and take on the world? I’ve always had a soft spot for movies that tackle the whole “pass the torch down the generational line” plot because for some reason, it just feels right. Although Emmerich has confirmed that one of the new characters will be Dylan All-Grown-Up, there’s no word on whether David and Constance will send their (hopefully existent) child off to fight angry aliens as well.

Oh and by the way, this is what Dylan (Ross Bagley) looks like now:


Will Smith won’t be in it.

This is what really gets me. When Will Smith joined the Independence Day cast in the 1990s, he had never been in any major blockbusters. He was just the Prince of Bel-Air who happened to also want to fight aliens part-time. As a result, his price tag was pretty cheap by Hollywood standards, around 5 million dollars. (I’m sorry…why did I decide not to pursue acting again?) Nowadays, though, Smith earns around 20 million dollars per movie, which is too expensive for Ronald Emmerich to handle. This means no more “Welcome to Earth,” no more “Wait until the fat lady sings,” no more Captain Steven Hiller and Jasmine storyline. Essentially, no more of what made the first movie so good.

They’re going to declare independence…again?

Pullman’s presidential speech in the first installment was uplifting, even to those who were just watching the movie in their pajamas in their alien-free reality. My question is, what happens when the creatures attack again? Unless the aliens are very prompt, it is unlikely that the world will almost end on July 4th again. If it does, well, that’s simply unrealistic. Out of 365 days, they chose the same day that they came last time? That’s just a poor strategy. This means that, after humans beat the aliens a second time, we will have 2 days to celebrate our independence and to be honest, that’s just plain confusing.

The film could encourage cigar smoking habits.

Have you ever smelled a cigar? I’m serious. Watching Smith and Goldblum wait for the fat lady to sing is all well and good when you’re sitting in a movie theater, away from the cigar smoke fumes but in real life, they’re unhealthy and smelly and dangerous. Just like Finding Nemo made kids think flushing fish down the toilet was okay, Independence Day and its sequel may perpetuate gross smoking habits. You think I’m kidding? Well, I am, but only a little bit. Cigars are gross, you guys.

Like I said, I love Independence Day but as far as sequels go, I’m going to have to go with NOT on this one, merely because it feels like the director is making it for the money. There are some movies that are so amazing, they just need to be left alone and I would say Independence Day qualifies as one of them (Titanic is another). The absence of Will Smith is what really did it for me, but what do you think? Is this Independence Day sequel HOT or NOT?

Image via Tumblr

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