It’s been 20 years since Independence Day shocked us by blowing up the White House and we witnessed Will Smith knock-out an alien with a single punch. But they are back for round two, and they’re bigger, badder and angry as hell for this year’s major summer blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s not looking good for the world in the renewed fight against invasion. With Will Smith not reprising his role as the saviour of humanity, the major question is: will we survive without his help? And more importantly, can the film be a success without the driving force of the first one?
Set two decades after the first invasion, the nations of earth have united to create advanced defence systems using the tech salvaged from the destroyed alien spaceships. The only problem? The aliens have come back with an upgrade and Earth’s defences are as good as worthless against them. Jeff Goldblum’s satellite technician David Levinson, now the director of Earth Space Defence, must figure out the planet’s response to a brand new attack on his own. And although American actor Jessie Usher plays the Captain Hiller’s stepson, Will Smith leaves big boots to fill in his signature role as the soldier with an ego for three but the heart of hero.
In Independence Day, Smith was not only a bad-ass action star – he also brought a sense of comedy relief that mixed well with the battles and explosions. No doubt he learnt a lot during his time as the main man in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
It was this balance between comedy goof and the belief that he could pull off most of these stunts that made Will Smith the perfect choice. Perfect example: his first encounter with the alien in the desert. How do you react to seeing your slimy enemy for the first time after a breath-taking dog fight? You conk him on the noggin and politely welcome him to earth.
Need another? What do you do with E.T.’s cousin who you’ve just knocked out? If you’re Smith, the answer is simple. You wrap it in the parachute left over from your crash landing, drag it behind you, shout your frustrations at the missed opportunity of a barbeque and apply a couple of kicks to the unconscious enemy.
Will Liam Hemsworth and the rest pull this off in the same way? The jury is out.
Only a few have what it takes to pull off the vest look as well. Ok, Bruce Willis, Ryan Gosling, and Mark Wahlberg weren’t bad, but not many beat Smith in Independence Day. Twenty years may have passed since then, but he’s still in great shape. He’s played warriors from Muhammad Ali to Deadshot in Suicide Squad and no doubt he could give Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison a run for his money. Oh, and can anyone else walk away from an explosion and look quite like this?
The last, and perhaps most important thing: will anyone make smoking a cigar look as cool as Will? Yes, we’re looking at you Liam, because we already know that Goldblum clearly can’t. Perhaps it is just best to keep the Cubans in the box this time out…