Roland Emmerich doesn’t always make good movies. In fact, he’s been at the helm of his share of pretty lousy movies (Godzilla, 10,000 B.C., last year’s Stonewall), and even his best material isn’t “good” so much as mindlessly entertaining. But oh how entertaining that mindless spectacle can be. With Independence Day: Resurgence, Emmerich returns to the summer blockbuster that once made him the go-to director for big-budget brainless amazement.
The latest trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence showcases even more of the special effects wizardry everyone’s expecting to see. Emmerich has blown up major cities, drowned major cities, frozen cities solid and destroyed them via earthquake, but this will be the first time he–or anyone?–has lifted an entire city up into the gravitational pull of an enormous spacecraft and dropped that city on its head on top of another city. The man is nothing if not imaginatively destructive.
So how do you defeat hostile extraterrestrials that can piledrive a metropolis onto another metropolis? You can’t, you don’t, the aliens win and ID4:R becomes the most shocking, daring blockbuster of the year by featuring a final shot of the victorious alien leader sipping space-wine from President Bill Pullman’s hollowed out skull. Or, perhaps, just maybe, the movie ends with the traditional “desperate underdog heroes save the day at the last minute” type of turn. Last time around it was a computer virus, which was a famously absurd plot point and yet appropriate for the times. Twenty years later, I’m thinking the aliens will either be felled by a security hack that leaks embarrassing emails and classified documents, or an organized campaign of intergalactnet social media outrage and shaming that reaches every sentient being on the universe-wide-web.
Independence Day: Resurgence will be in theaters on June 24th.