Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we talk about the trailers for Independence Day: Resurgence and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows!
Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer
Welcome back to Earth, alien scum! Yes, the 1990s really are back in full force and nothing spells that fact out further than a follow up to one of the biggest films of that decade Independence Day? Coming 20 years after the film’s events, Resurgence shows us an Earth that’s built itself up after being struck down by aliens. Using the technology the invaders left behind, the planet has rebuilt its defenses to standards more futuristic than our own. Looks like they’re about to come in handy, as it’s revealed that aliens from two decades ago sent out a distress signal that’s finally come back to haunt us as new fleets approach. Now, it’s up to heroes new and old (including Jeff “David Levinson” Goldblum and Bill “President Whitmore” Pullman) to save the world once again.
I’ll be frank: I think Independence Day is overrated. It’s grossly overlong, has far too many characters than it knows how to deal with and is full of cringeworthy cliches that horribly date the film. Basically, it was the harbinger of director Roland Emmerich’s career. Yet, ID4 still made somewhat watchable thanks to three key factors: Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith. Now, with the latest addition to (as Matt Singer so eloquently put it) the “legacyequel” trend, we’re seeing the return of many of those characters, including Pullman, Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and, despite where we left him last time, Brent Spiner.
Yet, we’re still missing something key: Will Smith. More so than Pullman or even Goldblum, Smith truly was the glue that kept that first film from completely falling apart at the seams. Even when delivering terrible banter, he seemed to make it work. For Resurgence, our new lead is the rather dull clone of his bigger brother Thor Liam Hemsworth. As much as he did try to make an impression in those Hunger Games films, I doubt his efforts will carry much weight in a modern context.
There’s still some potential in this idea, though. I particularly like the concept of Earth adopting the alien tech for their own purposes. There’s a lot of creative possibility to be mined there for the sake of fun visuals. I just hope the overly dower tone of the trailer doesn’t sink things into the modern “gritty reboot” trend too far. Maybe we could get a Josh Gad to play the nephew of Harvey Firestein’s character here… or maybe not do that at all. We don’t want another Pixels on our hands.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer
There’s no way to sugar coat it. The 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was pretty bad. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman and produced by Michael Bay, the TMNT reboot engendered little goodwill from fans of the beloved childhood property. Though the film bombed critically, it made enough money to warrant the creation of a sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. However, unlike its predecessor, Out of the Shadows appears to be making as many references to the original 1980s cartoon series as it possibly can to appease fans of the franchise.
The first trailer for Out of Shadows sees Leonardo (Pete Ploszek/Johnny Knoxville), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) not only going up against the mad scientist, Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), but also fan-favorites, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). Also appearing in the trailer is longtime TMNT ally, Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), who, like previous incarnations of the character, is using various sporting equipment to take out thugs left and right. We also see the return of April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and her midriff, and Vernon Fenwick (Will Arentt), arguably the only character that brought any semblance of entertainment to the original 2014 film. Probably the trailer’s biggest selling point for TMNT fans is the appearance of the Turtle Van, which amusingly fires manhole covers.
While I’m sure some fans are happy to see the manhole spewing Turtle Van, and characters like Jones and Bebop, I’m more excited to see the “evil death portal” making another film in 2016. Like many other people, I was rather disappointed by his lackluster performance in 20th Century Fox’s Fan4stic, but it’s great to see him bounce back so soon after starring in that abomination.
In all seriousness, I’m not going to pretend that I liked anything in particular in the trailer. Sure, it’s nice to know that there seems to be some actual effort on the part of filmmakers to include things that fans of TMNT enjoy from the original cartoons and 90s movies, but at the same time, Out of the Shadows looks to be nothing more than another bombastic Michael Bay blockbuster. While I’m always willing to give a movie a chance, this trailer is giving me little reason to be excited for TMNT’s return in 2016.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows arrives in theatres June 3, 2016.