When the sequel to a highly successful film is released, the expectation is that this second narrative will hold up on its own while giving proper respect to its predecessor.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) is the follow-up to the blockbuster 90’s movie Independence Day. It takes place a generation after Earth was nearly obliterated by an invading alien army. Humanity has taken thorough advantage of the advancement in technology. When the aliens return with revenge on the mind and a military force that has doubled in size, our heroes must once again save the day.
Two generations combine forces. the newbies Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia Whitworth (Maika Monroe), and Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher) eagerly join the fight. Backing them up are veterans David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch), former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), and Jasmine Hiller (Vivica A. Fox). It will take all of them working together to repel the attackers and keep our world going.
I love the first movie. It is everything a film of this nature should be. I wish I could say the same about Independence Day: Resurgence. While the visuals are fantastic, they cannot make up for the meh storyline and unimpressive character arcs. The emotions that I felt while watching Independence Day are missing. It was as if the screenwriters and creative team lost the spark. Unfortunately, it comes off a soulless easy cash grab based on nostalgia, which doesn’t always work.
Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is a plus sized woman living in New York City and working in an architecture firm. She is single and cynical about romance. She is even more cynical about romantic comedies. Then she is mugged and knocks herself out running into a pole in an effort to get away from her mugger. When she wakes up, she finds out that the world around her has changed.
Her apartment, which was tiny one room apartment over a store has become the apartment of every New Yorker’s dreams. Every man she meets thinks she is attractive. This includes Blake (Liam Hemsworth), a super hot billionaire who is immediately attracted to Natalie. Instead of being seen as a gopher by her colleagues, they respect her. The only person who seems the same is her best friend and work husband, Josh (Adam Devine). Then he meets Isabella (Priyanka Chopra), a model and philanthropist. This turns Natalie’s world upside down and she has to decide if she wants to live in a romantic comedy fantasy or live in reality.
I loved this movie. I loved it not only because it’s heroine looks like most women in America, but it exposes in the most satirical (and funniest) way possible, the flaws in the romantic comedy genre. But what I loved most of all was the message of self esteem and loving yourself, regardless of romantic relationship status.