After 20 years of waiting, Roland Emmerich recruited what looks like a bunch of soap stars and members of the original ID4, added a squillion dollars worth of broiling clouds, vast spaceships and other effects, and peppered the dialogue with a few gags.
Will Smith was allegedly too expensive so the cheaper Liam Hemsworth stepped in as the cocky pilot. No idea of his name. Nice smile though. Oh and he spends a lot of the movie going arghhh! when his craft(s) narrowly outrun debris, alien ships and the like.
Meanwhile, ex-Potus Bill Pullman is troubled. We know this because he’s stopped shaving. His daughter is not only dating Liam Hemsworth’s character but also happens to be an ace fighter pilot.
Then there’s Liam’s mate who may as well wear a red shirt he’s so disposable and annoying. As China is integral to any blockbuster’s success these days, there are a couple of token characters for the Beijing market.
It ticks over, suffers a weak second act and thrills in all the other right places. I was entertained. In the same way I’m entertained by eating popcorn. Though I prefer Emmerich’s 2012 and White House Down.
Weird how alien tech is used to power helicopters and planes but old school boats and school buses haven’t changed in this alternate 2016. Not that it matters. Emmerichverse is a law unto itself, never letting logic get in the way of fun.
No idea if we’ll have to wait another 20 years for the mooted part 3, but hopefully by then the secondary characters will have more depth and it’ll be bold enough to try something new instead of remaking a 1996 classic.