If I were a betting man, I would've placed money that this film would not be as good as its predecessor, the 1996 movie, Independence Day. Too bad, because I guessed right.
While the IMAX 3-D version of this film is visually spectacular, the story falls short in many ways. I've heard it suggested that if Will Smith had starred in this version, it would have been better, but there is no repairing the storyline by using any other lead actor. The story was just bad. Elements of many other films were taken and added into this movie. Here's just a few: Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, War of the Worlds (the 2005 version, not the 1953 version), Star Trek, Enders Game and of course, Independence Day.
So here's the story: 20 years after earth was first attacked by an alien race, they've come back to kick our butts. Will our new space defenses be enough to hold them back? What do you think? This time the aliens are smarter and wiser, and of course, they brought the queen of the hive with them. Reminds you of another movie? Oh yeah, that's right, Aliens (1986). Now how could I forget that one?!
There's a lot of rehashing of characters from the original movie, including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner as the nutty professor Dr. Brackish Okun.
The story is similar to that of all other ‘battle the aliens’ movies, with a new crew of soldiers. The newest non- space academy character is Chief Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei), leader of an African tribe in the Congo, who has apparently learned to decipher the alien’s vocabulary. Floyd Rosenberg (Nicolas Wright), plays a meek government accountant (who resembles Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver) and ends up turning into a machine gun-toting Rambo. And add in numerous Chinese actors, Commander Jiang (Chin Han) and Rain Lao (Angelababy – gotta love that name) who are part of the world defense league, who were obviously brought in for overseas sales in Asia and China. I bet you this film does much better in China than it does in the U.S., which is why it's really not so much about fighting for our independence and freedom as it is an Area 51 alien attack movie.
If you like sci-fi and watching earthlings fight aliens over and over and over again, like in Starship Troopers, then this is your movie. If that really isn't your thing, then I would suggest you skip the movie. However, if you’re planning on seeing it, make sure you do in either IMAX 3-D or real D 3-D. It may not help the story, but it definitely helps sitting through the film.