Independence Day: Resurgence Review

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Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth

Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to 1996’s classic, has many problems. One of which is highlighted when one tries to explain, as accurately and as succinctly as possible, the plot and it takes a large paragraph. In its messy script, filled with too many bland and uninteresting characters, numerous stories interlink in the chaos of Earth’s invasion by the aliens of the original. Firstly, there is Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), a talented but rebellious pilot serving The U.S on their new Moon base. He is in a conflict with Dylan Hillier (Jessie Usher), son of Will Smith’s character from the first movie. Morrison is also engaged to Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), daughter to the former U.S President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), who is now experiencing a form of PTSD from the previous invasion. Secondly, there is returning scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and his new love interest Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) investigating abnormalities which hint the aliens are returning. Thirdly, Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner), seemingly killed in the first film, reawakens from a twenty-year coma drawing strange alien symbols on the walls of his hospital room.

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Talented actress Maika Monroe (The Guest, It Follows) saddled in a boring love interest role.

As well as lacking a hero as charismatic as Will Smith’s Steven Hillier (who is dead in this film), Independence Day: Resurgence is fiercely derivative, rehashing ideas seen in popular movies such Close Encounters of the Third Kind (humans receiving telepathic messages from aliens), Top Gun (rivalry between jet fighters), Interstellar/Event Horizon (space-crafts travelling through wormholes) and District 9 (African warlords with alien guns). Like, the recent Jurassic World, ID:R’s script feels like it was written by a committee (technically it was with five credited writers) designed on maximising profits by adding a story-beat from every successful blockbuster ever. As a result, the film, especially in its first half, feels very generic with few moments as memorable as anything in the original.

images.jpgThat said, as the movie enters its second half and the alien’s invasion and subsequent destruction begins, ID:R builds a pace which momentarily distracts from the film’s blandness and poor dialogue (so many intended jokes do not land). Emmerich has built a career out of cinema goers’ fondness for Earth’s potential end (2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla). He understands the cathartic pleasure viewers experience from witnessing humanity’s greatest fear take place, while their safe and sound munching away on popcorn. Entire cities and countries get wiped out in some great montages which benefit from flawless special effects.

Also, ID:R has a pretty bonkers and exciting third act, whereby Levinson attempts to lure the alien’s “Queen” into Area 51, hoping to destroy it with a bomb. Meanwhile, a bus full of children, driven by Levinson’s father (Judd Hirsch), is caught amongst the carnage. This energetic final battle occurs in the last act of the film and as a result, viewers will leave the cinema somewhat satisfied. However, in the days after, fans of the original will come to the realisation that the film is just a passingly entertaining but forgettable, unnecessary sequel.

Verdict: 2.5/4

Not the failure it could have been, but nothing to be excited for, Independence Day: Resurgence is as bland and generic as its title.

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