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Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

We have waited two century for this sequel and now it is here. The question though is if humanity is ready for a second alien attack and if we, the viewers, will survive it?

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Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

Director: Roland Emmerich

Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Maika Monroe, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Angelababy, Deobia Oparei, Travis Tope, Nicolas Wright, William Fichtner & Sela Ward.

Run Time: 120 min.

US Release: 24 June 2016

UK Release: 23 June 2016

German Release: 14 July 2016

If you read my review for Independence Day, you will know how big that summer blockbuster influenced my perception of filmmaking and how much I adore that movie! It was the epitome of coolness back when it came out and I remember how everybody in school was talking about it. So I was naturally pumped when I heard that the sequel was finally happening, since there were rumours of a second ID-4 around for years. What really got me excited for this action sci-fi spectacle is the fact that most actors were coming back to reprise their roles.

Sadly, Independence Day: Resurgence is not what I hoped it would turn out to be, but merely a shadow of the original’s grandness. It manages to disappoint at nearly every level and left me pondering over what I just saw and how it could have been possible to mock it up so bad. The only answer I found to be plausible is the same one I came up with for Zoolander No.2! Sequels produced after such a longer period of time lose their connectivity to the first film.

Twenty years after the first alien invasion, Earth managed to recuperate from the catastrophic events that nearly annihilated the planet and humans integrated alien technology to their own technological advancements. David Levinson (Goldblum) is now director of Area 51 and travelling through Africa, to investigate the only landed spacecraft of the 1996 invasion. While mean, Dylan Hiller (Usher) is stepping into his father's shoes (played back then by Will Smith) as an air force pilot and Patricia Whitmore (Monroe), former President Whitmore’s daughter, is the assistant to the US President and engaged to Hiller’s wingman Jake Morrison (Hemsworth). During the celebration of the alien’s defeat, a new spacecraft appears threatening the human species anew.

What made Independence Day so great is the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously and knew what a silly apocalyptic premise it was. Nevertheless, it has a big entertaining value and manages to stand the test of time. Resurgence, on the other hand, takes itself way too serious, remarking the over-the-top and silly sequences as dialogues from characters. The plot doesn’t add anything new to the narrative, but just rehashes most of the original’s story and misses on some big opportunities to tell an interesting story, and this is the biggest flaw of this blockbuster. It tries to revive the 1996 original, with bigger and more devastating visuals but it does not have the charm and soul of it!

There is a second narrative, concerning another alien I could not have cared less about and thought that Emmerich’s biggest missed opportunity is by passing on the African’s tribe subplot of battling the aliens and how this affected them psychologically. Also, while ID-4 manages to intertwine several storylines into one, this sequel has a hard time coping with too many narratives, while the cheap cliffhanger is setting up a possible third film.

It did have a few positive aspects, though, such as the return of familiar characters and seeing how they evolved along those years.

Jeff Goldblum returns as David Levinson, being the best part of this film since he is the only one who obsiously enjoyed the filming! The character still has his funny one-liners and his intellect, but there are a couple of unanswered questions that makes me scratch my head; such as David’s wife missing for no explanation whatsoever, even though it was one of the core relationships in ID-4. Judd Hirsch also reprises his persona as Julius Levinson, David’s father, but both seem to have had some kind of fallout that is also not explained. A shame, because their relationship and mutual respect in the original is an aspect I loved.

Jessie T. Usher plays Dylan Hiller and tries to replace Will Smith, but gives an awful and very one-dimensional rendition of Captain Steven Hiller’s son. He has none of the charisma and “fun” that Will Smith gave to the original. Liam Hemsworth, though, understands that this should have been a fun and mindless blockbuster, trying to mimic Smith’s character, and is an OK addition to the cast. The only negative thing I have to say about his rendition, is that he is a little bit too over-the-top at times.

Brent Spiner is surprisingly back as Dr. Okun and “reveals” to be gay and in a relationship with John Storey’s Dr. Isaac. Sadly these two don’t get to display their emotions. In fact, it is barely noticeable that they play a homosexual couple. The character I hated the most though was the idiotic Floyd Rosenberg, portrayed by Nicolas Wright.

The only thing I did not have a big issue with was the cinematography and effects. The computer-generated imagery looks great, even though the production team mostly clutters the screen by adding too many things that are happening at the same time. My only problem with the effects is the ridiculous 6 feet tall alien queen, which looks outside of her exo-suit completely different to the rest of the aliens, as well as the huge new spaceship that covered over 3 quarters of the world’s hemisphere. A spaceship that big would not be able to land on Earth as it did in the movie, or possibly destroy our planet by trying to do so.

Independence Day Resurgence Poster

Verdict: Roland Emmerich is either losing his touch, or his era has simply passed. What is a fact is that Resurgence is nothing but a mere crapfest of a sequel, compared to the fantastic ‘96 colossus of a blockbuster. This movie suffers from an overcrowded cast that is too big for its own good and makes the story suffer immensely. It has no spirit, compared to the first film, and takes itself way too serious. Most of the cast in it are either just trying to have fun or give one-dimensional portrayals of their characters. My biggest issue with Independence Day: Resurgence, though, is the fact that it is trying to be more than the original, including oversized spaceships and aliens. I will give this sequel a 4 out of 10.

Have you seen Independence Day Resurgence yet? If you did let me know what you thought and if you agree with me. Thank you so much for reading my review and if you enjoyed reading it, make sure to subscribe and like it. My next review will follow tomorrow, so keep an eye out!

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