20 years ago, aliens were almost able to destroy the world. After their defeat, a period of peace followed with nations around the world working together on adapting the technology to improve planetary defenses. Believing that Earth was prepared for another attack, a time of celebration was set for the anniversary. Unfortunately the new threat is much bigger than the first. Though equipped with the technology to somewhat match up against their defenses, the fight seems beyond the Earth’s reach.
Big Cast, Little Development: One of the things this film banks on is the reintroduction of the cast from the first film and addition of older castings for some of the children. No Will Smith, no problem. Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, and Brent Spiner all reprised their roles. Jessie T. Usher stepped in to take over as the adult version of Dylan and Maika Monroe took over as Patricia Whitmore. With many more elements to the cast, it felt quite a bit stretched with almost no real connection to any of the characters. There were enough moments with emotional manipulation to hide some of the problem, but it was also quite clear.
Destruction of World Part II: In 1996, the giant spaceships with city-destructing beams were awe-inspiring and horrifying. 20 years later, the ante was upped with a ship that covered at least 15% of the Earth. Trying to mine the Earth for the molten core, the aliens were looking for energy to power their technology. Though they had other intentions with tracking down another alien race, Earth also had an element of retaliation to make up for their previous failure.
Minimal or Maximum Death: With an alien invasion of significantly larger size, it would only be assumed that there would be significantly more death. There were a couple of named deaths in order to give the film some sense of loss, but there were a few problems with the way it was done. The named deaths were rather quick and lacked solid emotional setup to make them truly noteworthy. As for the wide scale destruction, large numbers of people died without a second thought or any real representation on-screen, while a couple moment of survival appeared rather infeasible.
Final Verdict: The film has the blockbuster explosions and action that would be expected as a followup to the original. While the dialogue was not as cringeworthy as I thought it would be, the story was a little too grandiose and underdeveloped to be a truly successful sequel.
Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5