Orion,_battle_spaceship
This film is a sequel the 1996 film Independence Day. It was directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicholas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. It’s distributed by 20th Century Fox. For anyone unfamiliar with the 1996 film, Earth had to repel an alien invasion.

The film picks up about twenty years after the last one ended. The UN has set up the Earth Space Defense (ESD) system and has researched alien technology to use against future alien invasions. There are now military bases on the moon, Mars and Saturn’s moon Rhea. ESD director David Levinson meets with Dr. Catherine Marceaux and African Dikembe Umbutu who has found an intact alien ship that has sent a distress call their home planet. A strange ship appears near the moon base, and Levinson thinks it’s a different design from the last invasion, possibly a different race of aliens. The Security Council votes to destroy it anyway. Space tug pilots Jake Morrison and Charlie Miller pick up Levinson, Umbutu, Marceaux and accountant Rosenberg and head for the wreckage. They find a container but are interrupted by another alien ship that suddenly emerges and destroys the defense system before it can respond. The ship then begins to drill toward the Earth’s core in order to harvest the heat as fuel, which will destroy the Earth’s magnetic fields. Former President Whitmore interrogates a war captive and finds that a Queen is directing the invasion. An ESD fleet attacks the Queen’s chamber but they’re caught inside the alien ship. In Area 51 Dr. Okun has wakened from a 20-year coma. He opens the container and an AI reveals its mission is to locate and evacuate survivors of the energy Harvesters. Inside the aliens’ ship, the ESD fleet survivors steal alien fighters and follow the Queen’s ship, which is headed to Area 51 to destroy the AI. The ESD forces use the AI to lure the Queen’s ship into a trap and Whitmore volunteers to pilot a tug on the suicide mission. He sacrifices himself and destroys the alien ship, but the Queen survives. Whitmore’s daughter Patricia flies a fighter in a last-ditch effort to neutralize the Queen’s shields and allow the ESD forces to kill the Queen.

This is another watchable film. The script isn’t awe inspiring, but it has all the requirements, including the hot young fighter pilots, the older, self-sacrificing statesmen and the nerdy scientists. It has a lot of fast action and a touch of romance from the younger cast members. However, it’s another of those action-adventure flicks where you have to do a massive suspension of disbelief to cover the bad science and plot holes. Will Smith carried the first Independence Day, but there are no real standouts in this cast. Jeff Goldblum as Levinson probably does the most to carry it. Interesting, I was really taken by the space tugs. Animation has come a long way since Jar Jar Binks.

Three stars.

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