There's a new trailer for Independence Day Resurgence - and it certainly looks explosive! In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is for your viewing pleasure:
I admit that I've got mixed feelings about this sequel, and this trailer really hasn't helped. You see, watching this trailer, I can't shake the nagging feeling that there's one big problem with the film. To understand this, we need to turn our gaze to the first - and classic - Independence Day.
Why did the first Independence Day work?
Independence Day was an absolute masterpiece of a movie. It was really a blend of three different genres; action, sci-fi, and disaster. It worked so well because it inflicted a science-fiction apocalypse upon a world that was entirely recognisable. That's why we saw the destruction of monuments and centres of world government (such as the White House); to underline the fact that this film inflicted an alien disaster upon our own world.
The film walked in the footsteps of H. G. Wells' 1897 novel War of the Worlds. Incredibly, when the 1938 radio drama was aired it caused mass panic; as The New York Times reported:
In Newark, in a single block at Heddon Terrace and Hawthorne Avenue, more than twenty families rushed out of their houses with wet handkerchiefs and towels over their faces to flee from what they believed was to be a gas raid. Some began moving household furniture.
Throughout New York families left their homes, some to flee to near-by parks. Thousands of persons called the police, newspapers and radio stations here and in other cities of the United States and Canada seeking advice on protective measures against the raids.
Of course, there was no such reaction to Independence Day - we all knew we were watching a movie!
There was one key difference, however.
Where humanity survived The War of the Worlds because the aliens weren't ready for the Earth's bacteria, Independence Day showed the triumph of the human spirit. Sure, it caused havoc on a global scale, but it was a celebration of all that humanity could achieve if we stood side-by-side and fought for our freedom.
Independence Day 2's big problem
The trailer gives us a picture of a very different world. The alien invasion has united humanity, and our race has taken advantage of the science the invaders left behind. Unfortunately, it all means that the world of Independence Day 2 no longer bears any relation to the world as we know it.
"But in their sacrifice, we found the technology to build a stronger and safer Earth."
In a very subtle way, this turns Independence Day Resurgence into a film that no longer follows in the footsteps of H. G. Wells. That's a bold move, and it does have a chance to pay off - it's at least refreshing that this sequel won't just be a rehash of the original. But the fact remains that Independence Day Resurgence is no longer grounded in the world that we see when we walk out the door or turn on the news. I fear that the trailer gives a glimpse of a film with less than half the power of the original, doomed to disappoint fans of the first Independence Day.
I do hope I'm wrong.