Friday, April 22, 2016

Independence Day II: Contrivance Trailer

by JASmius

Yeah, I'll probably still go see it at Regal Tall Firs Cinema in early July.  But I'm becoming more and more convinced that I will regret that decision.  The reason is very straightforward: the premise of this sequel makes too little sense.

1) President Whitmore's dialogue in the first installment after his forced mindmeld with the alien clearly established that "their entire civilization" was moving from planet to planet, consuming every natural resource until it was gone.  At the end of the first installment, Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) wildly implausibly but still highly entertainingly destroyed "their entire civilization".  But the premise of this sequel is that just before said destruction - which the first installment made pretty clear the aliens never saw coming, leaving no time for it - the aliens got off a "distress signal" to "another ship".  Which the dialogue of the first installment makes impossible.

2) Even if you allow for (1), why would the aliens' sister ship drop whatever mission it was on and come "charging" to our star system to carry out what looks less like picking up where the last alien ship's natural resource harvesting left off and more like an exercise in retaliatory retribution?  It reminds me of Jaws: The Revenge, except with these critters.... place of the shark.

3) Given the wild implausibility of how the plucky, underdog Humans managed to save the day in the "War of 1996," and this is an even bigger alien attack, how much more implausible is the day-saving going to be this time, becoming so ridiculous that disbelief-suspension will be rendered impossible no matter how otherwise entertaining the action might be?

4) And how can it be as entertaining the second time around if it can only be a super-sized rehash of the first story?  Unless.....

5) What if this time....the aliens win?  Would Twentieth Century Fox have the brass ones to take the franchise in that direction?  Given that Will Smith declined to reprise the Steven Hiller role for this sequel, I'm guessing not.

6) Since I have always been of the belief that with the planet - most especially the United States - devastated after the first alien attack, other global "rogue actors" would have tried to take advantage of the power vacuum and make a bid for world conquest, leading to an all-out nuclear holocaust that would have finished the job the aliens started, I'd have preferred a sequel that showed what Earth was like twenty years after that outcome, and leave the supposed-to-be-extinct aliens out of it.  But I will give the writers credit for inserting a semi-plausibly long stretch of time between the original and the sequel, as given interstellar distances, even at the speed of light, you would be talking multi-decade time intervals between alien contacts at a minimum.  Another idea might have been to make these different aliens, except that that would lead to the question of what made Earth such a popular extraterrestrial destination all of a sudden.

Yep, I'm talking myself closer and closer to waiting for ID2 to come out on  Good thing I've got two months in which to make up my mind.

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