Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, William Fichtner, Vivica A. Fox
Rated: PG-13 (sequences of sci – fi action and destruction, and for some language)
Independence Day: Resurgence
By Matt Greene
In 1996, Independence Day was somewhat unique: a giant-scale disaster film that’s exciting, dramatic, and funny stood out in cinemas full of broad comedies, adult dramas, and smaller action flicks. Nowadays, we get an ID4-like every week. Where there once was a fantastical appeal to these CG destructo-fests, now all we notice are the massive amounts of dumb. So why does the original (in a mindless sort of way) still work, while Resurgence struggles to survive? Because as dumb as ID4 was, it had characters we know and like, something that’s sorely missing here.
Occurring in an alternate-universe-2016, the Earth has rebounded from the alien attack of ’96 and has progressed scientifically and technologically in order to better prepare itself for the inevitable alien retaliation. And wouldn’t ya know, those creepy space critters decided to return on the 4th of July AGAIN! Before they arrive, there are some mildly interesting character and plot developments that eventually give away to ill-matched dumb-fun. The action often feels like a non-narrative video game, the dialogue drips with bad exposition, and the cast is emotionally impenetrable. Most of all, it’s desperately missing the comically light and ineffable presence of Will Smith, who they ill-advisedly keep bringing up.
Despite all of this, there are still some silly, brainless, so-bad-it’s-good fun times to be had. From a distance, the destruction looks good; there are moments when the ridiculous lore dips its toes into Star-Trek-level inspiration; and the alien design is still really awesome, with the giant mother alien being a welcome addition. Unfortunately, the goodwill of our nostalgia slowly wears away as the movie lumbers towards its sequel-baiting end.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Independence Day: Resurgence
By Cole Schneider
“Independence Day: Resurgence” is exactly what you think: it’s a big, dumb, cheesy action-comedy-disaster sequel to the 1996 mega-hit, “Independence Day”. So, is it good or bad? Yes. On one level, “Resurgence” deserves praise for being among the most odd, daring blockbusters of the last 20 years. How many modern movies have such dopey lines delivered with unabashed sincerity as these: “It’s the 4th of July. Let’s show ‘em some fireworks!”; “On behalf of the people of Earth, happy 4th of July! <shoots alien>”; or, “Time to kick some serious alien ass!” In a cinema landscape where comic book movies become more cynical every year, it’s a bit refreshing to see a movie whose surface level goal is merely to make its audience smile.
Unfortunately, on another level, “Resurgence” is everything wrong with modern blockbusters, turned up to eleven. As much offbeat fun as actors like Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, and Brent Spiner are having, at least in spurts, their arcs are nonsensical and many are inconsequential. Hirsch, for instance, is in the film for no reason at all, though, his handling is certainly better than Vivica A. Fox’s. The ’96 film is big, dumb, and cheesy, but it had three important things “Resurgence doesn’t: its characters were built slowly, with warmth and real arcs; its plot, while simple, was coherent; and its goofy sensibility was countered by true movie-star charisma in the form of Will Smith. In Smith’s place here, we get a team of rigid pilots that weigh the film down where Smith’s levity lifted it. So, is it good or bad? Yes, it has moments of shameless good; and yes, it’s truly terrible at the same time.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars