Sunday 2 July 2017

Independence Day: Resurgence

When the film Independence Day was released in 1996 it was hyped more than any other movie. The marketing and advertising campaign exceeded almost everything previously seen in cinema. I remember seeing children carrying "ID4" packed lunch boxes to school. This has been repeated with subsequent films by Roland Emmerich. Therefore many people, including me, felt betrayed when we actually watched it and discovered that it was a pretty lousy film. The long-unawaited sequel Independence Day: Resurgence was different because it was not promoted as much beforehand. I had no intention of taking time out to go and see it on the big screen, but last weekend when I went to the UFO Academy, see:, I stayed overnight at a friend's house and he played the beginning of it on Netflix. I couldn't help being intrigued by some of the storyline. I saw a DVD of the film being sold very cheaply in a charity shop so decided to pick it up and watch the rest of it. The film is set in 2016 within the scenario of the world twenty-years after the victorious war against the malevolent extraterrestrials. The people of earth have reconstructed society from the devastation seen in the first film. There have been no wars between nations because the alien invasion taught humanity to "put our petty difference behind us" and achieve world peace. This is a vision inspired by a speech given by US President Ronald Reagan, see: The militaries of the earth have pooled their resources to create the United Nations Earth-Space Defence force that maintains a constant vigil for the possible return of the aliens. The US President is called Elizabeth Lanford, played by Sela Ward, and is a not-very-well disguised fictionalization of Hillary Clinton. Many of the characters... if you can call them that, from the first film are brought back, with the exception of Col. Steven Hiller who was played by Will Smith in the original. He is written out by being killed in a flying accident; however his son steps into his place. The tagline of the film is: "We always knew they would come back" which in itself reveals the entirety of the plot.

There is a scene in the middle of the story in which the viewer is presented with a vision of monumental global destruction. The biggest buildings being smashed into rubble, giant ships flying through the sky colliding with airliners, the land itself being rent into fragments and lacerated by huge chasms that swallow cars and lorries, monster waves overflowing from the oceans and inundating harbours. This is another textbook feature of Roland Emmerich's films and it takes place in nearly all of them. In fact in 2012 the cataclysm sequence is over forty minutes long. His films are marketed at a family audience and, putting myself in the place of a small child who watches them, I believe this to be highly traumatizing, see here for details: The most interesting part of the film is that humans are now using free energy and antigravity propulsion systems back engineered from the salvaged remains of the ET spacecraft. The UN's Earth-Space Defence includes a lot of hardware that use this technology, from personal small arms to space vehicles. There is an even bigger hint dropped when we learn that the weapons the humans use to destroy the aliens a second time (Do I really need to avoid that spoiler?) are called "cold fusion bombs". Why "cold fusion"? They must surely know that cold fusion is a very real thing, and that it refers to a suppressed free energy technology campaign that took place in 1989, see: The notion of a future world without war sounds very appealing. Would anybody seriously not want a world without any wars? However I suspect that this ideal has been used to sugar-coat some otherwise foul-tasting agendas, from Karl Marx to Francis Fukuyama. In Independence Day: Resurgence, we see the United Nations playing a very prominent role. Some of the central characters work for the UN in various capacities; a feature we are also presented with in World War Z, see: and: In a scene early in the film we see a convoy of UN trucks driving along a road in sub-Saharan Africa. This is strange; wouldn't trucks and roads be obsolete in a world with antigravity engines? Perhaps they are showing us UN trucks because those trucks are an iconic sight that affects collective human psychology. The concept of a one-world government justified by an alien invasion, real or fake, is still one we should seriously consider despite the no-show at the London 2012 Olympics, see here for details: Are the two Independence Day films being used to inject the archetypal notion into our minds in advance of the real thing taking place to prepare us mentally and culturally? The kindest thing I can say about Independence Day: Resurgence is that its special effects are magnificent. They are even better than the original, and those were excellent. However it is still meant to be a film and not a fireworks display. My favourite science fiction TV show is Blakes 7 which is famous for its low budget production design and homespun special effects. It had a great storyline, it was well-scripted and had great characterization and acting. The big lesson it taught sci-fi was that if you have those things then you don't need big budget special effects. Conversely, if you have a badly-written, badly-acted, shallow storyline with stereotypical characters then mind-blowing SFX will not save it. Both Independence Day films are perfect cases in point.

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