Seriously, trailer-makers, guys, enough with the echoing piano-key musical opening. After ‘Star Wars’, ‘Captain America’ and even the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ teaser just yesterday, it’s becoming a bit of an over-saturated marketing trope. But I’ll let it slide this time, because this is the ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ extended trailer (emphasis on the word ‘extended’, it’s close to five minutes long). We’re talking about the sequel to the film that practically wrote the recipe on how to do a modern, mindless blockbuster. Does it manipulate your nostalgic feels? Of course. Does it show way too much of the story? No doubt about it. Does any of that matter? Not really. The 1996 sci-fi epic original directed by Roland Emmerich (‘Godzilla’, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, ‘2012’, he has a proclivity for pyrotechnics) was just good fun to be had at the movies.
With special effects that actually kind of hold up to this day, an eclectic cast of enjoyable characters and by far one of the greatest speeches in film history, it was a riotous success precisely because it never had pretences of being something it wasn’t. No politics, no pomposity, just good guys versus bad guys, and maybe it’s a factor in its enduring appeal that although its core cast is entirely American, the US doesn’t single-handedly bring down the alien threat. President Pullman may have led the charge, geeky gawky Goldblum may have had the plan, but it still felt like a team effort.
Twenty years to the day, the aliens are back, and they are packing. Humanity may have spent the past two decades adapting their technology to safeguard the Earth, but as this trailer shows it’s still going to be a hell of a fight. Goldblum and Pullman make very welcome returns as David Levinson and now-former president Thomas Whitmore respectively. Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher join Maika Monroe as the new generation of July 4th heroes. There’s catastrophe galore and landmarks are raised to the ground by the dozen (“they like to get the landmarks”). Will it be as good as the original, better even? Who can say? We just need it to be fun, and the trailer certainly has us convinced of that much.