I’ve read the “Outlander” books by Diana Gabaldon, and I love them. It’s not the bodice-ripping that appeals to me, but an interesting look at a World War II veteran’s journey back in time 200 years. The series is excellent as well, and I never miss an episode on Starz.
Except for last night.
Last night, Rob and I decided to go see the new Independence Day movie – the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster that featured Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum, among others. But whereas the original Independence Day was fun and exciting, and didn’t take itself too seriously, and featured plenty of action and pyrotechnics, ID: Resurgence was a slow, stupid, hole-filled disaster filled with bad acting, bad storytelling, bad dialogue, bad social justice messaging, and decent CGI, which was about the only good thing I can say about this movie.
How bad was it?
It was two hours of my life I’ll never get back bad.
It was should have been named “ID: Regurgitation” bad.
Whoever directed and wrote this malodorous pile of rhinoceros droppings should be hanged off a lamp post by their short and curlies! Oh! That would be the person who is responsible for such preachy dreck as Day After Tomorrow and 2012 – Roland Emmerich. Despite having also directed the original Independence Day (which Emmerich never lets us forget by constantly flogging scenes from the original movie, as if it could save this epic fail), this movie has none of the fun of the original.
After the 1996 alien attack, the world is all peace, joy, and love, having used the alien technology as a means to defend the planet and bring together former adversaries, such as the United States and China in defense of the world – a defense run oh-so-peaceably and efficiently by the… United Nations.
Thanks for that nod to the one worlders, assholes. Since when does the UN run anything peacefully and efficiently without mismanagement and corruption? Oh, I forgot, thanks to the alien technology and the common enemy the world faced together, societies of earth are much more enlightened! Not only is the United States so enlightened that it elected the first woman president, who promptly and decisively destroys an unknown alien ship due to her lack of openmindedness and fear – no veiled messaging there or anything – even though said alien ship is supposedly a would-be savior for humanity, but former adversaries now work together for the good of the universe!
President Whitmore, now an aging, hobbling, bearded Bill Pullman, is having visions of benevolent alien ship. He’s decrepit and uses a cane to walk. Except when he realizes that the alien problem is once again threatening the universe. Then he sheds the beard, dons a flight suit, tosses the cane and the limp, and becomes a badass who will deliver a payload of nukes to destroy the alien queen, who by the way isn’t even mildly fazed by the nukes, but the President’s even more badass daughter, who in her early 20s becomes the White House communications director, after leaving her badass piloting gig in the military, is able to somehow destroy the queen’s armor with a fucking handgun! Um. OK. Because all it takes is lady power!
Dr. Brakish Okun, who we thought was killed by the aliens in the original movie, miraculously did not die, but was in a coma for 20 years. Even more miraculously, he wakes up when the new alien threat hits the planet, and starts walking around without experiencing any kind of muscle atrophy whatsoever or modesty at having his ass hanging out the back of the hospital gown! Miraculous! He’s also apparently gay and has an extraordinarily flaming life partner! The two flounce around like a pair of ageing queens. Okun’s peculiar eccentric scientist has now been transformed into a stereotypical, borderline offensive fairy. His sexuality wasn’t important in the first movie, but had to be over-the-top fruity to compensate and act as a catalyst for his rage after his bear was killed by the nasty aliens. “ROWR! I’m angry now! You’ve killed my partner! I’m going to get all rampagey!”
Speaking of rage… good lord the cheesy attempt at acting by Jessie Usher! Imagine, if you will, a main character who reaches out dramatically and in slow motion, while screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” as someone he cares about is slaughtered.
Now, imagine Usher’s character, the heroic pilot son of legendary pilot Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith in the first film, screaming flatly and somewhat embarrassingly, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!” as his no-longer-stripper-now-doctor Jasmine Hiller falls from the rescue chopper after heroically saving a woman and her baby. That is supposed to fuel anger and inspire the will to lead in battle. Bill Pullman’s Thomas Whitmore gave the speech of a lifetime in the original movie, inspiring every remaining hero to rise up against the aliens. Hiller Jr. flatly mumbled something about how they’re going to get the aliens. Saint Crispin’s Day speech it wasn’t.
Oh, and by the way, if the world is now such a peaceable place, why in flaming fuck do we have an African warlord still running around?
Judd Hirsch, who was the comic relief and by far the biggest highlight of this floating turd, was forced into a stereotype of a typical Jewish mother, who is constantly in his grownup son’s face, demanding to be part of this life. Even his acting couldn’t save the irritating pigeonhole into which the writers of this travesty stuck him! By the end of the movie, I wanted to bitch slap him and tell him to stay the hell out of the way, even at the risk of the subsequent Jewish guilt with which I would inevitably be showered.
Plot? What plot? It’s the same plot as the original, but filled with crappy acting and a hackneyed script.
Yes, it was that bad.
And I missed Outlander for this uninspiring, dull, pedestrian drivel that I had hoped wouldn’t be the epic fail I suspected it would be!
Next time I’ll stay home.