Independence Day was a box office phenomenon when it landed in cinemas in the summer of 1996, taking in over $300 million in the US, and $800 million worldwide. 

Even after twenty years, Roland Emmerich's old school disaster epic still has plenty of charm. It brought with it humour that was both subtle and broad, while delivering an absolutely stunning alien invasion that justified the poster hype. 

Like its predecessor, this epic chapter creates a genuine sense of suspense as Earth awaits the arrival of extra terrestrials, with whom there can be no negotiation. 

Only this time, the budget is bigger, the special effects are on a larger scale, and the aliens are deadlier.

Luckily, humanity has spent 20 years gearing-up for another onslaught, and the nations of Earth collaborate on an immense defence programme to protect the planet, with advanced alien weaponry mastered since the last attack.

Unfortunately, they didn't foresee a ship the size of Trump's election campaign coming for them. And so, the United States continues to crumble.


Jeff Goldblum is as charismatic as ever as the off-kilter computer whizz, while his on-screen father (Judd Hirsch) once again scores a few laughs as his kvetching and endearing father.

Bill Pullman - AKA 'Mr Can-Do' - is haunted by his "We will not go quietly into the night!" speech and plagued by premonitions of another alien invasion. His now-grown-up daughter Patricia (played here by Maika Monroe - apparently the original actress was re-cast after refusing to audition again), tries to step into her father's shoes, but the lack of pep-talks and speeches about uniting humanity is disappointing.

With no Will Smith this time, on-screen son Dylan (also re-cast) is now Chief Commander of the Earth Space Defence Force, but he lacks the charisma of his movie dad. Just bring back Mr Smith already!

Liam Hemsworth adds some tongue-in-cheek humour in his role as the easy-on-the-eye, hot-shot pilot but when it comes to delivering a punch, he doesn't live up to Will Smith's awesomeness. In fairness, could anyone?

Hemsworth told TEN he felt the need to revisit Smith's standout scene from the original movie and went to the creative team with the idea. 

"The punch I deliver wasn't in the initial script," he said. "About halfway through the shooting I went to Roland and the two writers, and I told them that the punch in the face of the alien in the first movie was one of my favourite moments, and I feel like we need one of those moments."

Emmerich's mayhem makeover gives audiences a bird's eye view as the destruction goes global, and even improves on the original's Oscar-winning effects. But the plot is hysterically over-inflated - cue floods, tidal waves, entire cities in orbit, and casual hanging out on the moon.

Independence Day 2 isn't out of this world but it has just enough fun to prevent you from feeling spaced out.

Laura Delaney

Check out TEN's interview with Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth by clicking the movie links.