Opening in theaters this weekend is, by far in a year of unnecessary sequels the most unnecessariest of sequels, Independence Day: Resurgence. The original film released in 1996 was big, loud, and explodey; just the thing we loved back in the 1990s. Here’s a refresher course of the dumbest things your nostalgia is making you forget. Here’s 5 For Friday: 5 Stupid Things From Independence Day You Probably Don’t Remember.
5. The Aliens Tell the Humans Their Plan Just Because
After using Brent Spiner as a translator, and then killing him because you can always get another translator, the alien they capture takes a hold of President Whitmore and, for some reason, telepathically shows him what their plan is. Not that it really matters, because they had already destroyed entire cities, so it wasn’t exactly a peacekeeping mission. Regardless, there’s no reason for this alien to go full Bond villain and just map out exactly what the plan is.
4. Harry Connick Jr. is Just the Worst
Isn’t he, though? He’s the wacky sidekick that is just there to be shitty and come up with some silly things to say in times of human annihilation. He’s like Deadpool without the natural charisma of Ryan Reynolds, and even that wears thin at some point. Thank god he dies in this movie.
3. Jeff Goldblum’s Recycling Obsession Never Pays Off
Everyone’s favorite 90s neurotic Jewish actor not named Jerry Seinfeld was Jeff Goldblum, and in Independence Day, he basically played his character from Jurassic Park, had he moved on from being a chaostician, which isn’t a thing, to a computer scientist that rides a bike. Being an environmentalist was super trendy back in the day, so it makes sense that they would make a character really environmentally conscious. What doesn’t make sense, though, is that it is a character trait that basically has no bearing on anything. This movie isn’t an allegory on environmentalism. Recycling doesn’t save the planet from the aliens. It just doesn’t factor into the plot in any way.
2. The First Lady is in the Movie Just to Die
You may remember Mary McDonnell from Dances with Wolves, where she played Stands With a Fist, or as the President in Battlestar Galactica, or even the mom in Donnie Darko. In Independence Day, she plays the First Lady… and she dies. That’s about it. Mrs. Whitmore gets picked up from the rubble of a demolished city by Vivica A. Fox, who as we mentioned, is a stripper for no reason, has some wacky adventures, and then dies. It’s a case of another female character turned into a casualty in order to create a motivation for a white male character. She’s James Rhodes without the sweet armored suit. Or basically any female character in a Mel Gibson movie. (Side note, movies in which Mel Gibson loses his significant other include: Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2, Forever Young, Signs, Braveheart, and his daughter dies in Edge of Darkness)
1. Vivica A. Fox is a Stripper For No Reason
In the film, Fresh Prince of the Air Force Steven Hiller has a live-in girlfriend who is also a single mom. This is the 90s, and racism progressed enough to allow us to see minorities in movies, but we still relied on old stereotypes of all minorities being from broken families. Also, when women of color need to provide for their family, the only job they’re allowed to have is one in which they need to take their clothes off, which is why we get a completely unnecessary scene of Vivica A. Fox at work.
Strippers were all the rage back in the day, what with Striptease and Showgirls bombing at the box office, but it’s weird to shoe-horn it into a movie that will have a longer-lasting appeal for children than it would for adults. Fox’s character, that barely has a name (it’s actually Jasmine… seriously), is so insignificant to the entire storyline that she a) doesn’t need a profession revealed or b) her profession could literally be anything. She could be a spot-welder, schoolteacher, CEO of a Fortunue 500 company, or a goddamn cable repairman. Or, I guess, a stripper.