Aliens return to destroy the Earth in this big, loud and gloriously daft $200million sci-fi sequel.
And its sheer overblown extravagance turns out to be no bad thing, with the summer’s first bona-fide blockbuster proving to be such a perfect popcorn experience, it’s practically dripping in butter.
When you go to watch a Roland Emmerich film you know what to expect and here the director of 2012, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow delivers perhaps the dearest B-movie ever made.
Two decades after repelling the first alien invasion, the world is now at peace and its leaders united in a bid to repel another incursion.
Using technology gleaned from the extra-terrestrials, defence bases have been set up on the moon and around Saturn while our warplanes have been tricked out to ignore gravity and fire laser beams.
But as humanity comes together to celebrate the triumph, the beings from another world return for another scrap, in a mothership with a 3,000-mile diameter.
With the visitors planning to extract the Earth’s molten core and all life facing certain extinction, a few brave souls rally together for humanity’s last stand.
These include a cocky airman (Liam Hemsworth), an alien-obsessed scientist (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and an army general (William Fichtner).
Meanwhile stars from the first film, Jim Broadbent, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, return to coordinate the resistance.
Notably, the original’s leading man, Will Smith, is absent although his son pops up as an air force pilot.
You can be cynical about the over-earnest performances, the corny dialogue and the US flag waving – not to mention all those shots of people cheering in control rooms – but that’s missing the point.
We’re here not to tut at the sheer dumbness of it all, but to see things blowing up.
And there’s no shortage of that, with everything bigger, louder and dumber than before.
From scenes of the destruction of central London to that mother of all motherships crash landing into the US, there’s no shortage of thrills.
The first film was nicknamed ID4. This one deserves to become known as ID4000.