Independence Day: Resurgence – What You Need To Know
With a filmography that includes The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and 2012, director Roland Emmerich is something of a specialist in the field of global disaster, but his is a journey that began 20 years ago with his career-defining film Independence Day.
Back in 1996, a cast led by Will Smith fought off the invading hordes, who had already obliterated the White House in one of the decade's most memorable scenes, before they could complete their mission of colonising planet Earth. However, two decades on the aliens have regrouped and now they're back for another attempt, so a new generation of heroes will have to step up to the plate to repel the invaders once again.
Independence Day: Resurgence arrives in stores on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K this week, here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
There are some familiar (but slightly older) faces reprising their roles from the first film, including Jeff Goldblum's David Levinson and Judd Hirsch as his Rabbi father Julius, as well as Bill Pullman's former U.S. President Thomas Whitmore.
Vivaca Fox's Jasmine also returns with a different surname, having married Will Smith's protagonist Steven Hiller, while Jessie T. Usher leads a cast of new additions in the role of Hiller's son, Dylan. Other new arrivals include Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
One person who won't be returning though is Will Smith, who has proved too expensive to add to the payroll this time around. His character's absence is explained away as the result of a 'giant explosion' during the testing of an alien-human hybrid craft, leaving his son to lead the charge against the alien invaders.
And who's directing?
Roland Emmerich returns to the director's chair for the sequel to his 1996 film.
What's the plot?
It has been a full two decades since the brave citizens of Earth repelled the alien invaders hoping to turn the planet into their next colony, sending them back to their own galaxy to lick their wounds. Since then, the newly-created Earth Space Defense force have made the most of the alien technology left behind to manufacture new weapons which, they hope, will better enable them to fight off any future invasions.
However, they discover that they may get the chance to put those weapons to the test sooner rather than later when several of those who previously had telepathic contact with the aliens, including ex-President Whitmore, begin experiencing strange visions.
It isn't long before a new mothership emerges, more than twice the size of the one that visited 20 years earlier, destroying the ESD's moon-based defences and landing on the Atlantic before starting to drill into the Earth's core in order to harvest fuel. But just when it seems that not even their new weapons can save the planet this time, help arrives in the form of another extra-terrestrial life-form who is all too familiar with the invading forces.
Does it deliver?
Despite the lack of Will Smith's presence, if you enjoyed the first film then there's every chance you'll enjoy the sequel too. The film is a visual spectacular packed with special effects and big, bombastic action sequences, as you'd expect from a Roland Emmerich film. Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T.Usher are both great additions to the cast, as is Charlotte Gainsbourg, who adds a bit of much-needed grounded realism.
You can find the trailer below...