Thursday, June 1, 2017

What a wonderful villain(ess)

I've been away for a couple of weeks, exploring that part of Australia where even not too many Australians go. More's the pity. The distances are large, but there's plenty to see if you know where to look. But it's not about Science Fiction, so I'll blog that journey on my own website.

However, I did have one science fiction encounter. Riding the train up to Far North Queensland takes pretty well an entire day (as in 21 hours), so the railway offers in-transit entertainment as you'd get on an aircraft. I'd needed about 2 nanoseconds to decide I didn't want to see the sequel to Independence Day. I was bulk unimpressed with the original (give me a break - they get a computer virus into an alien computer system???? Really????). But - as we explained last week, Hollywood doesn't make good movies, except by accident. The only important thing is that they sell. (FSoG anyone?) Anyhow, Independence Day: Resurgence was one of the movies in the limited offerings in the train's entertainment system. It's set twenty years after the events in the original story. The aliens are back, with bigger and better tech. I passed, but Himself, who doesn't take much interest in SF but does like lots of fighting and action, watched it on the way Up North, and insisted I would like it.

On the way Down South, I gave in to pressure. And yeah, it wasn't bad. It's all shoot-em-ups and derring-do, a bit like Star Wars. Suspension of belief is very necessary. The way the story resurrected characters from the previous film was a bit... let's not think too hard about that. The aliens apparently didn't do much to update their spaceships, either. The human pilots had no trouble fitting right into the tech. And the lucky coincidences may have been a bit larger than life, as was the final countdown to destruction. Hollywood seems to have heard the complaints about diversity and made at least an attempt to cast a wider spectrum for this movie. We have women in fighting roles, a black hero, Chinese characters - although the main hero person is still a white American male. There are two romantic arcs fitted neatly into the plot, which is nice to see. Romance between two characters always ups the ante when a situation becomes dangerous.

If you think I'm damning with faint praise, I suppose you're right.

BUT... the alien queen was awesome. Unlike the alien queens in Ender's Game, this lady has no redeeming characteristics. She's a nasty piece of work with no truck for feeble humans. For me, she was the best part of the whole thing.

The writers introduced a new alien species in this film, and they've opened up the possibility of another movie, with the alien queen as an awesome villainess. Who knows? It might be worth seeing.


  1. I think my experience was the reverse of yours, Greta. I thoroughly enjoyed the first for what it was--lighthearted, big budget fun. The second...meh.

    The huge but funny coincidences and jumps in logic that were entertaining in the first just felt plain silly-with-no-redeeming-humor flat in the second. I also had a bit of an issue with the alternative time line, since that futuristic setting I believe was supposed to be the here-and-now, but different because humankind had learned so much from the first alien invasion. (Hey! Where are our moon bases!)

    Totally agree with the tenuous original character connections and the flawed reasons for bringing them back from the original.

    For me, this film was a huge flop. I honestly can't remember the alien queen other than the vague plotline surrounding her (it's been at least a year since I saw the film) so can't comment on that aspect. But films are like books--to each his/her own. Some of the things I didn't like about this movie, others may have loved.

  2. Haven't seen it and wasn't a fan of the first. I'll probably watch it when it comes to terrestrial TV just because it's on.


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