Don't Cross The Yellow Line

Independence Day: Resurgence

Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Nicolas Wright (also a co-writer of the script), Jessie Usher, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy, Chin Han, Deobia Oparei and Sela Ward
Director: Roland Emmerich
Scriptwriters: Nicolas Wright (one of the stars in the film) and James A. Woods
Composers: Harold Kloser and Thomas Wanker
Cinematographer: Markus Forderer
20th Century Fox
Rating: PG 13 with fantasy/science fiction violence and themed material
Running Length: 120 minutes

Twenty years ago, the first “Independence Day” film was panned by critics, but turned into a blockbuster with a long fan base. Now, film Two is here and so are the aliens (captured back then) and coming (as in second-invasion-have-received-distress-call.) Thus is the plot of the film. The script combines bits of “Aliens,” “War Of The Worlds,” “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” with “Star Wars” and the flight battles are there, too, complete with younger-than-you-would-expect pilots, both men and women. Critics are having a field day with “Independence Day 2,” but this critic enjoyed it for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink storyline and speeches that inspire you to sit up straighter and go out and conquer that next home improvement project or whatever. This is entertainment. "Don't cross the yellow line," is what Jeff Goldblum says, as a scientist who wants to work alone. When people look around and say, "What yellow line?" He says, "Make one up."

We begin with President Lanford (Sela Ward) who is telling the world how peaceful it has been and how the left behind alien technology has improved life on Planet Earth. There are devises that defy gravity, newer weapons and planes, and a watch guard system in satellites around the world. Despite this, former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) fears the aliens are coming back, and his daughter is now a fighter pilot. Meanwhile, on Earth’s moon base (and there are now other bases on planets in the system), the celebration continues, with hot shot pilots Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), Dylan Hiller (Jessie Usher) and Charlie (Travis Tope) bantering with each other. There is a dislike between Morrison and Dylan referring to a fatality in the past. Charlie is the peacemaker. Suddenly, there are signs everywhere---captive aliens are rejoicing, circles appear in mysterious places and Saturn's base doesn't answer. President Whitmore knows what it is---the aliens are coming back. Jeff Goldblum is there to try to find an answer. Even eccentric Professor Okun (Brent Spiner), who has a vast knowledge of the aliens, comes out of a coma and knows something is amiss. Not only that, but Professor Levinson (Jeff Goldblum’s) former girlfriend, Dr. Marceux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) knows because of those circles on her history site in Africa where tribal leader Dikembe (Deobia Oparei) knows more about the aliens than anyone. He has quietly studied them for years. So the scenario is set in place and then the inevitable happens....a mother ship larger than Texas, arrives, the battle begins. It is interesting to find out who plays what part, then where and if, and where, there is help available.

The younger actors like Liam Hemsworth and Maika Monroe do fine, but in scenes with the seasoned actors (Bill Pullman, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch), there is a distinct difference with voice control. Brent Spiner is there for comic relief, especially his hospital scenes, and Jeff Goldblum always looks lost. Physical agility vs. speech-making and guess who wins hands down. Special effects are finely done with debris flying everywhere. Much detail here, and I saw it in 3-D which may be preferable. Sound track is there, but not memorable. Humor comes in quips (listen to Judd Hirsch as he meets each new situation.) Or, the men on a salvage boat who find themselves next to an alien ship on the ocean. What a catch this could be!

There are the usual situations in disaster films, such as pregnant women, children, pets and missing people, but here you find unusual incidents to keep your interest. What is brought forth in this film is that a world-wide disaster brings warring factions together for survival. No working with the enemy here. Whether you are listening to broadcasts on short wave, antenna, or the latest high-tech equipment, you are all part of an Earth family that someone is trying to separate and destroy. No matter what your weapons are either, whether they are machetes of polished steel or grenade-throwing rifles, they are fatal. The reason for going to Earth is different from other science fiction films, and though things look bleak there is always a never-say-never attitude for Earth. Earth is not alone in the cosmos, that is painfully clear here, but sheer determination is what made humans conquer Mount Everest or the South Pole. And they do it again and again.

 Copyright 2016 Marie Asner