Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

So, Independence Day: Resurgence is sort of fun at individual moments and just plain bad for the majority of it’s run-time, during which your attention is kept by being reminded of the numerous better, smarter movies you’ve seen all this stuff in before.  Apart from the returning characters, no one is memorable and even then no one has changed at all or gets any kind of character arc on this new adventure (apart from some accountant bloke).

But there is some interest here in the world that has been built; an alternate post-invasion society that has been reaping the benefits of all that crashed alien tech and global peace has been achieved through military co-operation against a further threat.  But the film doesn’t really go into this because it would probably have an awkward time explaining that militaristic societies are often easy to confuse with fascist ones.  In short Ender’s Game (2013) is a more interesting and honest sequel than this.  As it stands the next step, the hinted at (flat out stated) sequel, is Starship Troopers (1997).  When the aliens have been defeated I guess we enter the nightmarish benign utopia that is Star Trek (1966 – ) and that makes Firefly (2002) the fightback.

I guess.

If you care about that sort of stuff.

Anyway, Independence Day: Resurgence, it is what it is and it was never going to be anything else or more and my parking space was gone when I got home so I had to park at work which is a ten minute walk in the rain.  This film didn’t really leave an impression on me.

Film: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

edge of tomorrow @ www.cinemascream.co.uk

Since I’ve been old enough to go to the movies by myself I’ve seen every Tom Cruise film in the cinema (with the exception of Lions for Lambs (2007) which didn’t come to Guernsey).  That’s 19 films that I’ve looked at and thought ‘that looks interesting’.  They haven’t all been great but they all had something, even if it was just Cruise himself who is a genuine movie star; something that I can’t quite define but, like pornography, you know it when you see it.

That star quality is used brilliantly in Edge of Tomorrow where it is once again mixed with that curious and rewarding Cruise habit of playing jerks.  Here he plays a military PR guy, all Jerry Maguire grin and bluster, who refuses to film the first wave of a D-Day style assault against an alien invader and is busted to private and placed in the front line of a highly mechanized army.  He inevitably dies but awakens 24 hours earlier and is forced to repeatedly relive the invasion… so we have a mash of Groundhog Day (1993), Source Code (2011) and Starship Troopers (1997).

The great news is that it’s actually a really good movie.  Like the films it follows it doesn’t stop long enough for the repetition to feel repetitive in the tiresome sense and it’s exo-skeletons, guns, chases, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and all that jazz.  On the Cruise-o-meter it’s right up there with the best of his summer movies if not quite War of the Worlds (2005).

Recommended.

Detritus

1. Not sure how reliable this is but here’s a link to spoiler heavy blog post about the different versions of Edge of Tomorrow – http://rafjordan.blogspot.com/2014/06/all-you-need-is-kill-and-maybe-tom.html

2. Bill Paxton.