You guys. I went into this with very low expectations. After Jurassic World happened last year, I was convinced that the United States of America no longer has enough brain cells to support action films that make sense.
But oh sweet mother of goose.
As usual, I'll start this with an empty "spoiler alert." It is empty, because, as usual, I'm not convinced there was enough of a plot in this movie to possibly spoil.
We all remember Independence Day in 1996. It was amazing. As a 12-year-old, I vividly remember sitting in the theater on July 3, 1996, thinking, "special effects cannot get better than this. We've reached the end result."
The characters were awesome. The president was cool enough to hang out with but also bad-ass enough to beat aliens that had technology 3,000 years more advanced than the human race. Uncle Eddie showed up and proved that he was actually a really good father because he kills aliens. Will Smith was in it. Will freaking Smith.
Sure, the movie had its plot holes. But it was awesome enough that we didn't care.
Fast forward 20 years. The world has somehow completely recovered from being nearly destroyed. They have rebuilt all of America's major cities and they basically look exactly like they did before. You know. Those cities that previously took hundreds of years to develop.
But the world is different now. Because we have completely mastered alien technology. The aliens must have left the blueprints for all of their knowledge, written in English, explaining everything. So we have a moon base that we can get to in like 12 seconds and we fly back and forth all the time.
Oh, and Hillary Clinton is president.
But besides that, most everyone who didn't die last time reprised their roles. Everyone apart from Will Smith, a man who believes in dignity.
President Whitmore is around and he is now a crazy person. His daughter, who works for Hillary Clinton, is trying to keep track of him as he engages in insane rants and repeatedly draws a circle with a line through it over and over.
He's not the only one obsessed with this symbol. Many others have seen it in visions as well, including this warlord in Africa who, apart from murdering children and covering his land with the bones of the innocent, is just like you and me and really such a nice guy. He explains to Jeff Goldblum that this symbol has come to him in various dreams.
Jeff Goldblum is in Africa because the only giant 1996 ship that actually landed and was not destroyed is there. The warlord explains, poorly, that once it landed the aliens got out and then he murdered all of them by attacking them with samurai swords from behind. Because apparently the warlord didn't see the very important M. Night Shyamalononoanon film Signs and wasn't aware that all he had to do was hit glasses of water at them with a baseball bat.
Meanwhile, Will Smith's stripper wife is now a physician. So dream big, kids.
Things take a turn for this peaceful planet when a giant space ship shows up at the moon and everyone on Earth realizes that it looks like the Death Star from Star Wars and so they decide to destroy it despite Jeff Goldblum's warnings that they should wait to find out what it is. And we know that destroying it is a mistake because Jeff Goldblum does not make bad choices when it comes to the aliens.
So they destroy it but this little ball pops out of it and lands on the moon and so the children who are manning the moon space station go rogue and capture it before heading back to Earth just before a new space ship shows up commanded by the exact same aliens who attacked us in 1996. But this space ship is insanely massive. and it actually enters Earth's atmosphere. It's so big that it has its own gravity. So when it hovers just over the Atlantic, it spans from London to New York, completely sucking up London in the process but for some reason not doing the same thing on the East coast of the United States.
Then the new space ship starts drilling into the ocean and somehow we find out that they are looking to suck the entire molten core from the Earth so they can aggressively sell it in their malls' kiosks because it's probably so super good for their skin. But if they take our molten core this will eliminate the atmosphere and the soul of the planet so obviously we don't want that ok?
Immediately we notice that the aliens have updated from Windows 95, which was really their downfall last time, so this is pretty intimidating. Unfortunately for the aliens, SO HAVE WE!!!
BOO YA 'MERICA!
The aliens aren't messing around. They kill Hillary Clinton and everyone else in government positions so they basically make the employee of the month at the nearest Shakey's the new president. This leaves some sort of emotional opening for former-president-and-current-nut-job Whitmore, who, as it turns out, has something of a Harry-Potter-Voldemort connection with the queen alien. The queen alien, by the way, is the size of the Statue of Liberty.
I'm not kidding you about this.
The queen alien, who looks very much like an ant, is the size of the Statue of Liberty. She sits in the center of the giant space ship. And all of the aliens we captured and stuffed into cells at Area 51 back in the war of '96 are so super excited that she is here and they start having seizures over it but someone, it doesn't matter who anymore, explains to us that they are not having seizures but that they are actually celebrating because they sense that the queen alien has returned to Earth.
Also, President Whitmore's voice is apparently loud enough that he doesn't need a microphone when, without even talking loudly, he gives a speech to 3,000 attentive soldiers in a room the size of an average American city.
Somewhere around this time we discover that the warlord actually speaks and reads alien because of all of the time he spent hunting them. Which, if we're getting picky, we might wonder how this is possible considering that in the last film we were taught that the aliens speak telepathically. BUT WE AREN'T GOING TO GET PICKY HERE.
I started falling asleep at this point so I'm sort of fuzzy about what happens next. I think the alien ship hits that iceberg in the Atlantic. You know the one. So now there's some kind of breach in the system.
Oh and also we find out that Jeff Goldblum was right about not destroying that first space ship that showed up at the moon because apparently that space ship was from friendly aliens who uploaded their existence to virtual reality and now they travel the universe warning other planets about the mean molten core aliens and instructing them, in English, about how to destroy them.
So thank God those children saved that ball from the moon after we destroyed the ship because that ball contains all of the secrets we need to beat the aliens, and it tells us these secrets in a robot voice.
They figure out that the queen wants to destroy this ball so they bate her to come to the Salt Flats to get it. President Whitmore leads this mission. And no one thinks to stop him. Even though he is actually a crazy person.
Eventually the queen gets out of her ship and starts running around the desert and they shoot her down. Once she's dead the rest of the aliens have no idea what to do so they immediately leave with their sincerest apologies.
And everyone is so super happy even though Earth was basically destroyed.
And then President Whitmore or someone is like "this planet won't survive another alien attack." And the creepy Area 51 guy is like, "actually I just studied all of the information from this ball thing and it has told me how we can kill the aliens" and then Jeff Goldblum or Oprah or somebody is like "so we'll bring the fight to them!"
And then the movie ends. It ends with a final threat that there will be another one of these in our future.
~It Just Gets Stranger
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