3 Stars – Suspenseful
It was twenty years ago when the earth was saved by a computer virus. Now when the earth is once more threatened by a hive of aliens with superior technology, the shield doesn’t pose a problem, instead it is the queen who has come to destroy us. This is the primary difference between the 1996 sci-fi film introducing us to the insect-like aliens and the 2016 sequel. Directed by Roland Emmerich known for Godzilla and The Patriot, Independence Day Resurgence is the predictable continuation that needed to wait 20 years to be made.
Due to this two decade wait, the ages of the ensemble cast who were in the original film are the right age. This is true not only of those who were adults and have become more senior but also for the children who have grown up and now become the daring pilots who save earth once more. This is seen primarily in the daughter of the former president, Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe). Patricia is now the beautiful young pilot who has taken her place beside her father (Bill Pullman) in the supersonic fighters. Her presence as a woman also reflects the shift in culture with women now serving in the military. Similarly, the brash young pilots include the son of the ace who was played by Will Smith twenty years earlier. But the now older adult scientists continue to be the brilliant survivors, as shown by Dr. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and Dr.Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) who devise the plan to destroy the queen’s ship.
As with all good science fiction the moral lessons are obvious and compelling. The first attack twenty years earlier brought all of humanity together and we stopped warring against one another. This recognition that we must come together in mutual support or perish in our divisions is a message that is certainly true whether the threat is from outer space or from our own foolishness.
Although the threat to humanity in real life does not come in the form of giant insects who want to suck our planet’s magma core to fuel their ships, the analogy is a simple one: There are those who would reach inside and take our very souls if we let them. But as James Taylor advises “don’t you let them.” That is a message for all of us.
- In the Christian tradition there is a hymn where we pray: “Cure your children’s warring madness, bend our pride to your control; shame our wanton selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.” There are those who would take our souls and there are ways of living such that we ourselves impoverish our souls. Which do you see as the greater threat?
- The victory over the harvesting queen and her hive took everyone using their skills and abilities. In what ways do you work together with others and benefit from mutual support to overcome the difficulties of your life?