What made the 1996 original great was a few things; we had a more mature cast who already had years of credentials behind them. Will Smith. Bill Pullman. Jeff Goldblum. Mary McDonnell. Randy Quaid. Well, ok, nearly all. We also had groundbreaking special effects put to use in a way we hadn't seen before - who can forget the Empire State Building being obliterated, or the iconic shot of the White House being destroyed? It was shocking, exciting and lots of fun.

Now we rope back a few of the original cast - Goldblum and Pullman - to add gravitas to proceedings. While Goldblum does what he does best, keep calm at every hint of danger and throw a few dry quips here and there, he doesn't so much else. Pullman also manages to play a decent part akin to his original role, but isn't in it for as long as you may want. Brent Spiner returns, actually, and is not as irritating as I remember in his zany role.

Newcomers take the show, and it's populated by faces many will not recognize. Liam Hemsworth is the leading man, who is tolerable in places when he's not shouting, grimacing or yelping whenever he pilots a craft. He's a harmless enough leading man, but one of those you'd rather seen in a teen romance or Gothic horror rather than this sort of blockbuster material. He's just not got the leading man quality that Will Smith had in a mirror role 20 years earlier.

The first half of the film is standard - setting up all the characters, setting up the scenario Earth is in and setting up all the things going to go wrong. While it's standard sci-fi stuff from the start, the feeling of "reality" is gone, whereas it was strong in 1996. We have so much CGI locations here, it doesn't matter too much when things go boom.

But when they first go boom, they go BOOM. The alien landing is lots of fun. It's a visual feast for the eyes and presents lots of carnage, chaos and well produced SFX. And you think 'Man Of Steel' or 'The Avengers' had collateral damage due to mass destruction? Forget it - these aliens know how to destroy cities and countries in the space of seconds. It's loud and fun. But then it wears off.

Once our battle line is drawn, it spirals into generic sci-fi action stuff. Our older heroes spend time chasing down answers and working out weak spots away from danger, and our young heroes spend time talking tough and battling the aliens in their CGI ships in a very evident 'A New Hope' inspired dog-fight.

It's a little boring sadly, because we've seen and heard it all before. Even the mini rallying speech doesn't have the impact of Pullman's original. Nor does the alien v human battle because, well, it's been done and mirrors that most sci-fi alien battles near enough. It drags out, and while it's very fast and flashy, it's just...dumb action.

Yes, its funny in places without being stupid and it's also quite moving with moments you don't expect and we do have a generally decent cast to follow. But, like the mother-ship's shadow, the general feeling of "been there done that" hangs over the second half of the film and awfully sets up a 3rd which, if not careful, will simply be a remake of 'Starship Troopers'.