You peed in your pants?
Yeah, me too.”
I never thought I would miss Will Smith in a movie. Well, for everything there's a first time. And damn, I missed our friend Smith in this sequel of the blockbuster from 1996. Not because of his acting talent or his good looks. But because of his dry humor and his sometimes hyperactive behavior. Smith was honored by the brief display of a picture somewhere in a presidential corridor. His absence in this film was due to a fatal accident during a test flight (Personally I think the paycheck was a disappointment to him). As a worthy successor his stepson Dylan (Jessie T. Usher and fortunately not Smith's son Jaden himself) is summoned to help.
The big difference with its predecessor, is the total lack of credibility and excitement. In the blockbuster of 1996, the alien invasion was so brilliantly portrayed, that if we ever expect something to happen like this, it'll look exactly the same. In this movie everything is so over the top and out of proportion, that it starts to look ridiculous. For instance the dimensions of the alien ship. This giant ship covers almost a quarter of the planet. The advantage is that the devastation and ravages are so immense that the images of destruction are really impressive. I'm sure the CGI department was asked to get the maximum out of their computer systems. When those immense landing gears of the colossal spaceship dig into the earth's surface, it provides hallucinatory images. Quite some mainland is plowed and a huge tsunami hurtles across the continents. Compared to this, the one in "San Andreas" was a tiny wave.
About the story itself. Don't expect too much content or groundbreaking innovations compared to the previous one. It's more or less a second attempt of the alien warlords to conquer Earth and plunder resources. The only difference is that by studying the extraterrestrial material, left behind after the first confrontation, mankind has been able to develop their scientific knowledge drastically. The result is a mega plant on the moon in order to counter new attacks. The creation of a futuristic-looking society. A defense system around our planet by means of armed satellites. And the technology for intergalactic traveling at light speed. However, they didn't realize that twenty years ago a distress signal was sent from an alien ship, situated in the African desert where African rebels waged a long war against Martians which were wandering in the desert. They researched alien technology thoroughly. But the disorder in the X-band frequency detected the moment the mother ship was destroyed, apparently was a hard nut to crack . The result is a second attack. An unstoppable attack according to former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) : "They are coming back. And this time we won't
be able to stop them”.
The cast is a mixture of veterans who appeared in the old movie and a new generation. So you can see Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner again, as their twenty year older alter ego. Their appearance reminds you again how fast years flew by. Their intelligence is still as fresh and spry as before. Most problems are solved in an instant by shrewd proposals and intuitive inventions. A little too quickly in my opinion. This made it quite implausible. And this way the tension was completely ruined. Furthermore, I couldn't really appreciate the sometimes corny humor. All in all, this second film is a little bit of a setback. Granted, the images look spectacular. The special effects are majestic (but that was to be expected). And the action scenes are phenomenal. But there was no magical moment in this film. It wasn't really that impressive. But when you fancy a visual spectacle, this blockbuster should be on your bucket list. I just hope the descendants of those pesky aliens won't come up with the same idea in 20 years.