Independence Day was a great summer movie when it came out. It had everything that glues people to their seats. Massive set pieces, Will Smith punching an alien in the face, and Randy Quaid. What more do you need to make a good movie?
Well, timing helps, too. You see, when the first ID4 day movie came out, we had yet to see major destruction of a city by an alien sing modern special effects. Since the first ID4 there have been dozens and dozens of movies just like it. Think Battle of Los Angeles as one (crappy) example. It might even be called Battle for Los Angeles, it is THAT bad it is, I refuse to Google it. But my point is, the concept has been ripped off too many times since, Will Smith is not even in it, and it has been too damn long for anyone to care.
In other words, it is gonna suck.
When Independence Day first dropped, people loved it. It offered us a very 1950s-esque movie made current and entertaining. It showed us destruction on a scale very few movies had up to that time, and was also campy and safe that everyone could enjoy. It was very easy to watch, and helped define the access of the current flow of “Summer movies.”
Problem is, so many summers have passed since the last movie that we have to wonder if Independence Day 2 is just coming to its own party a little too late after the fact.
One thing a great many people misunderstand about ID4 was that a great many of the best effects in the movie were NOT CG. A perfect example being the explosion of the White House. That was actually done with classic green screen and they blew up and actual model of the white house they had built for that exact reason. That is one reason that explosion scene works so well. It was real.
BUT…(and there is always a but)
…currently, no one uses models or practical effects anymore. This means the thing we loved about ID4 might be missing from the sequel, Independence Day 2. If they forego what made it work for massive, digital effects, it won’t feel like the same movie. And judging from the massive alien battles, that is exactly what looks like happened.
No Will Smith!
For those who don’t know, Will Smith is allegedly very hard to work with. Demands re-shoots and re-writes when he is not even director and demands a ton of money. While it could be said a huge part of what made the first movie work was his bravado, we now have to see if the franchise can carry itself without his smug, comic relief.
But even the most stoic of us will admit it will not feel like an Independence Day movie without Will Smith (even if we can understand why no one wants to work with him anymore).
Wait to Judge
The reality is, we can speculate all we want but we have to be aware that it is all just that: speculation. The fact of the matter is they could have an awesome script that explains the time between and justifies it perfectly. The cast could work just fine without the token Smith character, and maybe it will be even better than the first one.
We just also need to be aware that Independence Day 2 could take a massive shit on the movie we have adored for so many years. As fans, those are two things we need to take into account and be aware of all times before sitting down to watch this movie when it comes out in a few months.
Judge it on its own, but be cautious is all I am saying.